CALAMITY I // BREAKING THE CYCLE
By: Dickie Watson
Date: 9th Jul 2021
CALAMITY I // BREAK THE CYCLE
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
His nose twitched as he leaned against the stone railing, the inside of his forearm flattened against it despite the sun beaming down upon them. Listening intently to the phone held up to his ear, his hazel eyes narrowed for a moment before he placed a hand on the railing, pushing himself upwards and bracing himself against it. His hair was askew in the wind, and his baggy, oversized t-shirt rippled along with it. Despite the heat and humidity of the New York summer, he still wore jeans paired with slip-on vans. Pure alternative grunge seeped from the near twenty-seven year old, and so too did the air of disgruntled millennial. The expression of disbelief fell out from his mouth in a quick exaltation of air with a hint of annoyance.†
It seemed to not take much to annoy Dimitri Watson these days. Ever since the day he lost nearly everything that mattered to him, he hadnít been quite able to get that chip off his shoulder, or find the unconscious ability to smile ever again. It seemed a permanent marker had been drawn over his mouth and he continually felt like he was at the bottom of the food chain after living at the top for so long. No amount of clawing his way back up would get him to the success that heíd carried for nearly two years of his wrestling career. No amount of work was going to make biased ass officials see him in any other light other than red.†
Everything heíd done, heíd done for nothing. The lights, the cameras, the fights, the bleeding and the bruises and the hatred and the destruction that heíd fought his way through…it all meant nothing if he couldnít figure out how to climb again.
“I already said that I didnít want to do this. Itís not my style, Iím notÖ”
He was cut off by the other person, quite effectively. Turning his head to the side a bit, he looked up at yet another plane that seemed to be crossing above the Hudson River. A little Cessna, probably a tourist attraction plane that gave them a beautiful view of the grime-ridden city below. At least, as high as he was in this little penthouse suite he shared with his wife, Hannah, he was able to get away from all of the trash and rebellion. It was clean up here — at least, as clean as city air could be. He couldnít smell the stale stench of steam and sewer from here.
“Thatís Finnís deal, not mine.” He added a second later, shaking his head. “I donít have a penchant for toxicity.“
And he didnít. That was the one thing that Dimitri held above all things. His sense of righteousness. It wasnít because he thought was better than the next person. It wasnít because he thought that the world needed to be righted or fixed. He did everything for others, or at least, thatís how he saw it. Heíd fought so hard to be a champion and to keep that championship not because he was determined to make himself the best person out there. Not because he wanted to lord that gold over everyone else and act like he was the supreme creme de la creme of the company. No, he earned those positions, regardless of if they were gone like a fleeting summer love.†
Everything heíd done, everything heíd fought for was to put the companies he represented on the map. Heíd accept challenges from anyone, anything, if it meant putting the honor of that company up to the test. And it was thrown away the night they betrayed him and threw him to the wolves.
Sometimes, he didnít even know why he was still fighting. He wasnít the person that they wanted him to be, no matter how hard he strived for their approval, or their commitment to them. It took him long enough to figure out his position in the company — no matter what he did, he wasnít the new shiny object on the side of the stage that would somehow bring them up to the next level. He fought and he fought and he fought, but he didnít suck ass and he didnít pander to anyone. He worked, and that mattered more to him than sliding into bed with the executive board like so many people he knew did to get ahead.†
But that was his life, wasnít it? A constant fight, no matter how base or trash people wanted to make it seem. If he wasnít in the right, he was fighting with himself. His emotions, his abilities, his knowledge that he was better than anyone wanted to paint him. He woke up every morning and he pushed and he became what he needed to be. He was handed nothing, fought for everything, and yet…they still dared to say he was given special treatment.
He pushed off from the railing and headed over to the bamboo and linen outdoor couch staged in front of the fire pit. Obviously, with the heat and the humidity, the flames werenít lit, so he put his feet up on the rim as he dropped down onto the couch. Pulling the phone from his ear, he touched the screen and forced it to move to the speakerphone, so he could set it on the couch arm.†
“…brother has always been a little more…kaihatsu-sei [volatile], but to be honest, that seemed to fit for him.” The canned male voice on the other end spoke properly, though there was a strong Japanese accent behind the words. Elusive, somewhat, even. “I wouldnít be asking you to change your entire persona, Dimitri…but I would be doing this to help you out, mainly. I know youíre exceptional — youíve done everything up to this point without a guide in the world, but think about what could be done if you had that.“
“I donít want it. I donít need it.” He argued. “I told Finn this long ago and Iím telling you now: I donít need to make a deal with the devil just to get back in the game. I donít need to change my entire thought process and my values just so that I have gold around my waist. I did it before, Iíll do it again. On my own terms.“
There was silence on the other end for a few moments. He didnít know the speaker well enough to determine what he was doing on the opposite side of the phone, but Dimitri knew that they weren’t pleased. He exhaled, rolling his tongue across his teeth as he waited for them to say something —anything– so that he could just simply hang up the phone.†
“I understand. I am, of course, disappointed. I had hoped youíd finally realized your potential to do great things with someone helping you to pave your way.“
“I donít need it. I never needed it.” Dimitri snapped. “You know, Iíve spent so long in the shadows, and I was forced back into that position by a dickweed general manager. It took me breaking my bonds to realize that I donít need them, just as they have never needed me.“
“Like your sister–“
Like a flood, memories invaded him. Getting placed in that godforsaken orphanage as a young child, the constant badgering and threats from kids that didnít like him or his accent. They didnít understand his Russian language, so he was forced, often at the end of the stick meeting his backside, to speak in English. The protection he received and the love he gave, only for it to be tossed out like garbage the day she left. The multiple homes, the multiple families that heíd tried to assimilate into, only to be given back up because he couldnít reach their expectations. Heíd clawed and pushed his way up through school, university, and now? He was a wrestler with a legacy being created and not once had he ever needed someone else to push him, to make him better. Heíd done it on his own. Like he always would.
“I donít have one.” Dimitri cut him off. “And I donít need one. Have a good day.“
He grabbed his phone and hit the red button at the bottom of the screen, shaking his head. He knew that the man on the other end wouldnít take no for an answer, and eventually, heíd call again and again. But he didnít need him, or his support. Not at all, and heíd made that quite clear.
Tossing the phone to the cushion next to him, he pressed the heels of his palms into his eyes and leaned back, resting the crown of his head against the back of the couch. For once, he relished in the fact that he didnít have to talk to anyone right now. The sounds of the city echoed upwards, but it wasnít loud enough for it to interrupt his solace, his quiet. For a moment, he was able to inhale and think of nothing.
That was the problem, though. Nothing was the furthest thing from his brain. In fact, it was filled with information and plans and thoughts about everything he was supposed to do, and everything he wasnít doing. He glanced at his phone, noting the three missed texts that he had but not bothering to answer them. Aiden Reynolds, his Australian tag partner in two companies and the man he could easily now call his brother, was one of them, and would eventually stop by if he didnít answer. After his mishap in Brazil, the man had become a little more watchful of him. Unlike most, Aiden understood the fact that his retaliation and thought processes all stemmed from the fact that heíd been rejected and replaced so many times in his life that he didnít know where he stood with others — and he readily had about ten jokes on hand at any time to ease the tension in any room.
After all, he was Dickie the Dropbear in the Australianís phone.†
The other was from Finn, his “older brother” who…wasnít his older brother but pulled him into his fucked up little family when he was a kid. Once upon a time, itíd been a trio, but that day was dead and gone, buried six feet under another six feet just to ensure it. He had no desire to relive it, to bring it back. In his mind, she was nonexistent, and she could live with the world on her shoulders without support from him anymore. Sheíd chosen to become just like everyone else, and in the end, that left him on his own two feet. Just like heíd been from the start.
The last, of course, was an unknown number, but it was a text that he hadnít deleted. A lone address and a date, ushered in upon the death of a company, had sat in his phone for a few days now, and he hadnít decided what he was going to do with that. He couldÖ.rise? Rise to the challenge, rise to prominence, just like heíd deserved? Dimitri was known for doing outlandish shit, but how many more times could he do it? How many times could he bust his chops, work for everything he did, and only be left to die in the fires of his own damnation?†
He thought heíd never have the chance again. Never have the opportunity to rise without predisposed notions being put upon his head. He knew his name had finally made the waves that it needed to. People werenít just looking at the company, they were looking at him. They wanted him, and that was something that heíd never quite experienced before. He was always happy to put his name out there, but usually, people didnít bite.
They clenched their teeth down and wouldnít let him say no.
Maybe he could do it again. Maybe he didnít need the backing of the people he thought had been on his side, maybe he didnít need the support of his friends and family. Maybe he could just do it alone again, and rise to the top of the echelon. After all, heíd only started to fail miserably after heíd begun to focus on everyone else and their needs. Their time. Their push and no longer his. Maybe he just needed something to fight for that wasnít tied to the bane of his existence. MaybeÖ
Maybe he just needed to believe in himself again, without the fanfare and the camaraderie he so desperately desired to keep in his pocket.
Letís cut back on the bullshit here, shall we?
You donít know me. I donít know you. And for a second, letís leave it at that. Just a moment, because thatís all youíve really got. Because from here on out? Itís all different. This world, this company, this creation of a system, has seen a lot. A significant amount of drama, riotry, and anti-whatever symbolism seemed to roll supreme in this place. Anarchy, chaos…itís what we think breeds a damn good bit of notoriety, and what brings people into your realm from the outside. Flashy signals, pretty lights…theyíre a come on thatís built for you to see a product thatís for sale. Hell, Cyberpunk 2077 was built on this principle, wasnít it?†
But if itís not lit up the right way, it doesnít attract anything different. Itís like a colorful little male spider putting a display for a drab female thatís just going to eat him alive once theyíve copulated and created hundreds of progeny that will all end up doing the same thing over and over and over again.
A cycle, if you will.†
Cycles are continuous in this brand of sport. Families make their name, and then one, two, four, five of them show up and place a hold on a company that ends up being as stagnant as a pool of rainwater in an otherwise unworkable drainage ditch. Thereís too much debris covering the otherwise open drain, and the new rain coming in has no place to go but sit at the bottom, waiting for a chance to see the light, the stars, the moon. One day. Maybe.
Cycles perpetuate problems. Thereís no escaping that, unfortunately. Outside of the business, you see it tear families apart. You see a cycle of abuse, of trauma, or you see a cycle where everything is thrown under the rug and people donít focus on their problems within the family or community unit. Look at the world, and tell me that everything is okay. Look at the world and tell me that the cycles of the straight white† man oppressing the minority arenít continuous and ever-present in the world.
Problems are continuous, never changing. Chronos reigns.†
Until you break time, until you break the cycle.†
With the fall of Outlaw Pro Wrestling, it created a break in the cycle. For a minute, a moment, a second, the cycle was allowed to stop. I know it created a moment of chaos for the rest of you who have been with this company from the get-go, but whatever Outlaw Pro was stopped the second there was an arrest. An arrest of an owner, an arrest of time, and arrest in the cogs of the machine, these created the fate that now rests in the hands of the people willing to walk into a building, a tower, on the whim of a little note card and nothing else.†
A chance to change.
A chance to be something that you werenít before.
Something to rise from the ashes of one company and become better, bigger and beautiful. The Phoenix of the wrestling world, if not in only metaphor but also in physical form.
You have a chance.
I have a chance. So why not take it?
The sun continued to cast its light upon the world for the remainder of the day, and then the moon rose in all its glory. A full one, it seemed, for the night. Even in the light-polluted sky, the illuminated moon was visible and strong in the sky. The firepit now roared, the orange glow casting itís warmth upon the men seated outside. Dimitri kept his eyes above, leaning back on the couch, in his hand a bottle of Guinness while the other hand laid lazily at his side.
Across from him, feet propped up on the stone rim of the firepit, was his tag partner, brother and best friend, Aiden Reynolds. The six-foot-one Australianís forehead was covered by a bandana (outfitted with the Australian flag), and he had a pair of cargo shorts on with his flip-flops. He didnít seem to worry about the fact that the roaring fire could melt off his toes, but that was Aidenís philosophy: donít worry about something until it actually mattered. He kept glancing upwards, looking into the floor-length windows of the penthouse, watching the blonde woman that was inside talking to Dimitriís wife. He thought he was being surreptitious, but this was, of course, Aiden — there was nothing surreptitious about the loud, boisterous Australian.
“Fuck mate, I get to accompany you down to the ring to take onÖwhatever that is.” He quipped, his blue eyes widening to twice their size as he looked at the card. “Does she have fucking orange hair? Lookiní like Oscar the Grouchís bushy ass eyebrows.“
Dimitri snorted. “Are you judging her for her hair, Aiden?“
“No, Iím judging the fact that…whatever fuckiní hairstyle thatís supposed to be looks like it should find itís way to Sesame Street and start counting stairs to live under.“†
Another snicker escaped Dimitriís mouth, and he shook his head at his friend. Aiden made faces as he looked up the person that his tag partner would be facing in another company, and they were even more comical the more he dug. Dimitri looked back up at the sky for a few moments, before he lowered his head and he leaned forward, placing his beer bottle between his hands, letting it dangle. “Got a question for you.“
“Fuckinell, mate, I justÖ” Aiden looked up and glanced at the British-Russian wrestler. “Oh, yeah, yeah, nah, yeah, whatís up? Aidenís Selfless Services here.“
“Did you…did you just make an ass joke?“
Silence settled over them for a second, and Aiden grinned at Dimitri, who just shook his head and rolled his eyes. Par for the course for them, it seemed. Aiden was continually cracking jokes, mostly at other peopleís expenses, and Dimitri had long grown used to that. He knew it was simultaneously a desire to make the people around him comfortable and a defense mechanism whenever Aiden felt the energy in the room was shifting negative — which seemed to be often around Dimitri himself.
“So initially, I just got this notecard with an address on it. I mean, I know what it is. I can surmise the details… remember I joined that company back in May, and then I wasnít booked for a bitÖ? Yeah,” he added, watching as Aidenís face grew serious, like he was actually trying to listen. “Iíve been getting wooed by them for a bit, and I made the plunge…and then nothing. I thinkÖI think this, that card, is the remnant, the opportunity for it to blossom and become something better than itís predecessor. Iím just…Iím not sure I can handle it.“
Aiden nodded, reached up and stroked his beard thoughtfully. “Well, tell me why?“
“What if Iím taking on too much? I have a real opportunity here to get back the championship that was stolen from me at–“
“Yeah, I know. And we have the opportunity to win back the tag team championships eventually at P-Dubs. But nothing is set in stone, and I know you well enough to know that youíre not thinking about leaving any of the others…not before youíve had your options exhausted. This new placeÖ“
“Itís not really newÖ“
Aiden rolled his eyes, reaching for his drink himself and taking a large gulp of it. Energy drinks in the late evening…it was a wonder he ever slept. “Se-man-tics,” He quipped. “What makes you think itís an opportunity for you? What makes you think that you need to have another place like this? Maybe deduce that out of midget-like thing you call a brain.“
Dimitri frowned at him, annoyed. “If mine is a midget–“
“Mate, I donít need to know. Thereís a reason we change in separate areas.” He cocked his head forward and grinned.
“I thinkÖ” he ignored his friend and sat back once more, focusing on the fire as he spoke. “I think itís because I want to show that I can do it without support. Without friends, without the people in my life that I rely on.” He glanced up to Aidenís face and his eyes widened. “Not like that, man. Not like that. I just…look, you brought me back into this world a little over a year ago after Iíd taken six months off and thought I was done. Just like that, we won championships. And then I went to Project: Honor, because their first champion, and then…well, you know. Everyone else followed and suddenly, I wasnít on my own anymore. I want to prove that I can do this…without people like Finn andÖ” he swallowed, but he wasnít able to complete that sentence.
“She really did a number on ya, mate. Itís been nearly five months.“
“I know. Regardless…I just have this opportunity to be in a place that accepts me for me, you know? Not the bullshit that I deal with daily, where I feel like I can really reach my ultimate point, the apex, the zenith….make this really about my Era living on, you know?“
Aiden nodded. “Yeah, man. I know.“
“Thereís been phone calls, almost daily. This guy, the owner…I get messages often, reaching out to me to decide if Iíve made my decision or not. I mean, I get it. Iím new to them, Iím the new shiny toy and they want to give me opportunities abound, but…Iím not sure thatís the best decision for me, you know? I always thought that I would be a part of the other companies until I died, and while that may be true…I also have this chance to be the one to look at again. No predictions tainting your legacy, no…backwards ass elite whatever bullshit. Itís a new identity, a new audience that I can be someone different than whatís expected of me. No one looks at me like Iím a threat there right now, and maybe they should, but here? This new place? They have no idea who I am and I can make them believe that I am truly a force to be reckoned with.“
Another nod issued from Aiden, and he leaned forward once more. “I get it, mate. I do. I say take it, Dickie. What do you have to lose?“
Dimitri leaned back, thinking softly to himself. The moon, illuminated overhead, gave him solace. He knew itís representation, what it stood for. Everything that it was meant to be. The height of power. Completion. The realization of everything that he ever wanted to be, almost as if it was in the palm of his hand. It wasnít coincidence. This was his moment, his one shot…
What did he have to lose?
I get it.†
Youíre thinking, who the hell is this scruffy ass kid coming in here and talking to us like he knows anything?†
Maybe I donít. Maybe Iíve got my head up my ass, but at least Iíll own the words I say. Iím not some shitbag asshole from another company who just rolls in, challenges the rest of the roster, and then never finds my way actually into the joint. I know Iíve been saying stuff from the second I signed my name. Nothing came of it because I was told to wait. Wait for the opportunity to move ahead, wait for the right time. Hook, line, sinker, wait until the moment in which I would be able to take this roster, dismantle it, and put my body into the trenches. Iíd await a moment where I could fight, to show myself, to become what was expected of me.†
Expectations are a bitch, and itís ridiculously hard when your reputation precedes you. Iím not so high up on myself to think that I was the most amazing motherfucker there was to grace the wrestling scene, but I do know my value. Iím the one that brought in several good, talented names to previous companies that wasted away their talent for the next shiny cent on the ground. I am the one people wanted to face, to bring elevation to the company. It wasnít people like…well, you know. The loftiest, high of them all, thinking their shit doesnít stink when theyíre made of it entirely. I used to think that if your name meant something to a group of people, it was everything that you needed. But now? Now, itís different. Now…I finally see what itís like to be the cash cow that no one gave a shit about in the end.
Except itís not the end, is it? No. Not for me.
For those of you who donít know me, welcome to my world. My name is Dickie Watson, and I am The Calamity. The Molotov. Either or, theyíre interchangeable. Youíll see me referred to as Dimitri, but I hate that name and Iíd rather burn it at the stake if I could. Iíve been doing this sport for three years now, and let me tell youÖ
I am the first person that you wouldnít put down in a list of prominent superstars.
But Iíll let my record speak for me. Inaugural champion in multiple places, longest title run in two of those places. Iíve fought tooth and nail to get where Iím at in my career, and I sometimes, I think I have a lot I owe to people who came before me. Earlier, I talked about cycles, and about how theyíre problems.
Family cycles are fuckiní problems too.†
Iím not going to mention my family, or lack there of. Letís just suffice to say theyíre both wrestlers, and Iíve already outdone both of them. Three years, and Iíve been the face of companies. Three years, and I havenít been in the midcard except as of recently.
Thatís not going to happen here.
I push, I pull, and I drag people up to the top with me. Itís important to me not only to be a beacon of light for the company, but also the target. Why? Because I believe that between myself and whomever else, we can make a five-star match. I have always put the benefit of the company ahead of myself. Iím not a selfish prick, like so many other people Iíve ever seen. Glory never went to my head. But I wonít lie and say Iím perfect either. Iím not. Iím vocal, and I give opinions whether you want them or not. But thatís part of life, isnít it?
My goal here at FIGHT isnít just…to be on the roster. I want to put you all on notice. You have your Stratfords and your Montouris. And Iím glad you have such a dedicated roster of people. But I am breaking the cycle. The cycle of my family. The cycle of this company. This is new blood, and I am what you needed to get ahead in the game.†
Iíd say youíre welcome, but I donít think youíll be thanking me any time soon.†
I have goals, and I plan on reaching them. This night? This free-for-all? None of us know what we will be expecting, but I will tell you now, and I will tell you so many times…I am one of the people who prepares for all angles. I look at the situation in front of me and I make a decision. And I stick with that decision. This…this is new territory for me, but I promise you…you will definitely be entertained along the way.
See you at the tower.†
And may the best person fight til’ they can no longer.†