Eric f(redacted)ing Dane.
That’s who put me here.
I’m sitting on a bed in the medical bay short after Victory XLV went off the air, and I’m not happy about it.
Shame on me for being so trusting.
Shame on me for thinking The Only Star could put his pettiness aside for a split second and actually co-operate like a functioning human being.
That video smacked both of us in the jaw. We’re both gonna have to deal with the consequences, and there’s a good chance we’ll have to deal with them together. You think a guy would put his prejudices aside in the face of a bigger danger, but no.
Not Eric Dane.
I let the medical team patch me up. They shine that little light in my eyes and get me to recite my name. They take my pulse and temperature, then get my eyes to follow a finger around the room. I’m out within an hour.
Eric clocked me pretty good. The right hand knocked me silly, and getting my head thrown against the bus wasn’t much fun either.
Hope I made a big enough dent in that Eric Dane decal, at least.
I shouldn’t be surprised. This is a man who’s had nothing but bile for me since the day I walked-in, and that’s not gonna change ‘til the day one of us walks out. He’s insulted, disrespected and mocked me. He’s pinned me to a wall and lectured me. He’s tried to stab me with a fork.
Anyone who knows wrestling knows Eric Dane’s reputation, of course. Every heinous act, every ill-gotten gain: I’d watched ‘em all on television for years. I knew thought I know what I was getting into, but you don’t understand The Only Star’s venom ‘til your on its receiving end.
I remember The Chamber, and stepping into the ring with him for the first time.
I was overawed, honestly. Guy like that carries an aura with him, and it’s not just for all he’s done in the business. It’s the strength of personality, the iron will, and the machinations of a mind that moves like Machiavelli’s.
Guys like that draw you in, and you start understanding what makes them so successful in the first place.
We’ve come a long way since then. Through traded blows and pointed fingers, insults and accusations: we’ve weaved a deadly path to get to this point, and it’s time for the showdown.
I haven’t held a singles belt that mattered a damn since the day I started wrestling. Eric collects them like trinkets.
He’s one of the most decorated wrestlers of any generation. I’m Andy Murray’s burnout little brother, who’s 15 years deep and only just starting to figure this thing out.
But I belong in that ring with The Only Star. If I haven’t already proven it, just watch on Monday night.
Maybe he Stardrives me into oblivion.
Maybe he taps me out.
Maybe he grabs the tights and rolls me up.
Whatever. I’m still gonna push him to his goddamn limits.
I’m not some shlub he’s gonna roll through then forget about. I’m the man who pushed his handpicked prodigy so close to the edge that the only way he could overcome me was through cheating.
I’m the man who ran Madman Szalinski, his Pantheon team-mate, so ragged that had his resignation papers on Wingate’s desk the next morning.
I’m the only guy who stands for something bigger than individual success around these parts.
And on Monday night, I’m the guy who’s gonna make this legendary grappler rue the day he ever sold Cayle Murray short.
Whether The Only Star accepts it or not.
"Everybody loves me and I intend to keep it that way."
- Kathryn Velmont Thomas