CALAMITY IV // LOSIN MY HEAD, SPINNING ROUND AND ROUND
By: Dickie Watson
Date: 25th Aug 2021
Iíve got your back.†
Itís what they always say, right? People who are thrown together into a mess of unlikely circumstances and want to succeed always say it. You never know exactly what youíre getting but somehow, youíre meant to work with that person. Instead of colliding, for one night only, they were meant to be partners, loose friends. They werenít meant to scout one another for weaknesses, but it was inevitable. They werenít meant to get into it with each other, but to come together under the same banner. For group projects in the classroom, for collaboration between artists, co-writers, co-workers, you name it.†
It was the most phony sounding response, the sentiment itself. Sometimes youíd have your choice, and itíd make it easier. But other times…other times, you were forced into the group of misfit kids in the room because the teacher thought youíd be able to corral them and get them going. Or maybe, you were forced into writing something with someone, presenting something, making it work when it was two different ideals and mindsets going into the project. They always said, Iíve got your back. For sure, weíll make this work.
Heíd heard that so many times now that Dickie Watson wasnít one to believe it until he saw it.
As a kid, he was one of those misfits. Heíd sit in the back of the class, his eyes on the assignment, the rest of the kids, the work itself, and heíd watch as the people around him pretended he didnít exist. And that was fine with him. He was quiet, did what he was supposed to, and then made sure that you knew he did it. Why? Because had to rely on himself, from the beginning to the end of the matter.
And that stayed with him, all the way up into his adulthood, into his very own career. He never reached out to people to try and help him grow into a wrestler. He didnít look at his siblings and say, Ďteach meí. He didnít reach out and ask for permission, he just saw what they could do, and said to himself that he could do it too. But he always felt like he was living under the shadow of people who were…better. Just plain better than him, and it didnít matter what he accomplished, they would always be better.
When he joined the FIGHT! NYC roster, he was very much a believer in that. He wasnít Finn, with his multi-championship wins and his enigmatic personality. His decisiveness and his bitterness and his complete lack of care towards his opponents in the deathmatch scene. He wasnít her, with her name known by everyone, whether their thoughts erred towards believing her to be a strong combatant or a whore for any man that crossed her path. He was Dimitri. The little brother. The maybe good, but not really. The following in their footsteps. The person that was always going to be compared to the “greats” of his family even though they were stale and boring, trying to reach just a little more†
Until he surpassed them.
In FIGHT!, he did exactly that.
He surpassed them.
And then he was forgotten.
Iíll always have your back, Dimitri. Bullshit.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Heíd headed down the street after meeting with Paul Montuori, his hands shoved into his pockets. The man had been insistent on the meeting, and after this pisspoor showing that Dickie had shown the last couple of shows, that was even a surprise. He knew he hadnít been consistent, and as many excuses he wanted to throw on the fire wasnít going to change that. Everything with other companies, everything with his soon to be ex-wife, trying to make sure that he wasnít going absolutely bonkers…he had excuses a-plenty, and he wasnít interested in sharing them with the rest of the world. He knew better. He knew that he couldnít argue his way out of a plastic bag, not in this instance.
He came in, guns blazing, and theyíd died fairly quickly. He would have to sell it like hell to rise again to the top like he was billed to be. Amari Kent had been the one who ate the pin, but Dickie hadnít done his best at Venom Five. He was two-two, butÖthat was okay. It gave him purpose. It told him to be better than he was now. He had a job to do.
For one night, Iíll have your back.
The city never slept, and he knew it. Even now, people traversed the dark roads, hopping across the street to head to another bar, another club, another house. It was as if these were the people who didnít have day jobs, who didnít live within the daytime, probably didnít even know what it was. The women in their heels and their latex clothing, the men in their douchebag attire, the complete and utter disregard for sense and sensibility. But it wasnít as crowded as it usually was, and as he slowly approached Central Park, he paused and looked out across the secluded forest in the middle of the city.†
He hadnít been alone in a long time, and for a minute, maybe heíd taken that for granted. He always had someone in the past couple of years that would make his days better, brighter…stronger. He always had them, and they told him the same thing. They had his back. But bitches, they werenít loyal, and it was easy to see that the second their relationship came to an argument. One, simple argument. After everything. The fact that he told her he loved her, despite her mental health issues, the fact that heíd supported anything she wanted to do, no matter how farfetched. Their relationship, over in less than one night.†
She had his back too.
He sighed to himself. His life was riddled with problems and issues and lies…and he was to somehow rise above, accept the challenges that came across his lap and do something with them. But his damn head couldnít get out of own ass long for him to figure out the right way of doing things. Heíd come into FIGHT! as a competitor who stopped at nothing to get to the top of the company. Friends. Foes. Heíd silenced them all, and heíd taken their coveted prize for his own. Because he could. Because he was capable of it. He still was capable of it. And he had every opportunity ahead of him to right his own pathetic wrongs.
Dickieíd started walking towards the park without even realizing it himself. Soon enough, the lights still blanketed the sky with their light pollution, but the center of the sky was like the eye of the hurricane — calm, the few stars visible, blinking softly in the distance. An allusion to his life. Every once in a while, it seemed like there was something that was burying him, creating chaos and strife…yet for a second, there was always a moment where he could see clarity above him.
What he wouldnít give to know the future. What he wouldnít give to know exactly what the stars knew, what they could tell him…what he could have for his life ahead. Would it be safe and sound? Something heíd never had, or probably would ever have?†
The elation heíd experienced in winning the title. Thatís what he needed to remind himself of, right? The elation of being recognized for who he was — the champion, the competitor, the fighter. Not, by any means, the man who kicked the bucket when it didnít matter. Not the little brother of a champion. The truth of the matter is that, no matter how many times someone wanted to bill him as the little brother, no matter how many times they wanted to shove their fist down his throat and make him gag, heíd done everything without their help. Heíd become better than anyone ever believed he could be.
He was the champion, not just a champion. And it was over and over again, until people couldnít fucking stomach his success. Until those same people put their heads in the laps of management, pulled back with a smirk and held their balls by a string while dangling scraps of attention out to them. Until they buried him because they couldnít stand his ability to shine, until they buried him six feet under because he knew he was better than their bills.
But he couldnít deny that he wasnít stronger with the people who supported him.†
Finn never tried to make it awkward between the two of them. Here they were, together, top champions in their respective companies, and the most they argued about was how many pizza rolls they were going to throw into the oven. There was never a moment where he sat there and drilled him into the ground for the same things everyone else thought they could to get under his skin. There was never a moment where Dickie felt like he was never going to be able to measure up to the grandiose caliber that other people placed on someone who never deserved it in the first place. A long time ago, heíd resented Finn…but now heíd come to respect the man.†
Despite the constant badgering of the idiots towards his friend and pal, Aiden Reynolds, the Australian was the other person in his life he considered a brother. They told him how many times that he was nothing more than Dickieís Bitch, his bag boy, his left hand, that he couldnít rise to the level of stardom and thought that Aiden was going to ride in on Dickieís success…the Australian had stood by him with a scoff and a snarky response the showed they werenít going to get under his skin. That was true even now. Part of Dickie wished that he would be tagging with his long-time partner, the second half of The Commonwealth, for this tag team bit, but…that wouldnít fit the bill, would it?†
Even the loose affiliation with Shawn Warstein, the noted fact that The Dynasty popped up every which way — the numbers game — he realized he had more support than he thought. Kasey. Betsy, by extension. These were supporters. These were friends. They could create the numbers game, they could play it too. They would have to, if they were going to survive.
But that wasnít the problem now.†
The problem now was that he was going to have to work with one of the very people that spent weeks making his life hell for simply winning something that they thought was theirs by rights. He was going to have to let bygones be bygones, and let things slide. Just for one night, and then they could go back to hating each other, sitting on this rivalry that was merely created because they were so similar, and yet so difficult.
He didnít like Paul Montuori. He didnít like his arrogance, he didnít like his egotism. He didnít like the fact that he referred to himself as a wrestling god, and he didnít like the fact that he thought numbers meant everything over skill. He didnít like the bitterness that ran out of the manís mouth, he didnít like the fact that he couldnít see anyone for anything else other than what they were worth.
He understood him.
Certainly, it was a shit pairing. There was nothing fixing that statement, no matter how many people said that it would work out in the end. Paul Montuori was out for himself, and everyone knew it. He understood that. How could he not?†
They were the same, though very different at the same exact time. They both lived under the shadow of their siblings, both lived under the pressure of having to feel like they were different than them, but would never climb out of their shadow. It was a classic story, one that either had the hero becoming a villain by deposing the siblings or somehow rising out of the ashes of their shit. The difference?
Dickie was done placating his siblings.†
Heíd denounced the one that kept trying to hold him under her thumb, heíd shoved her out of his life, and he was doing things better than the rest of the world ever expected him to. Inaugural champion, multiple times over, heíd showed up and showed out that he didnít need approval, support, or any form of familial love from a woman who had no fucking time for him because her head was shoved up her own vagina so she could lick her own clit. And as much as he had support from Finn, the one heíd never expected to be on his side, he didnít need it in the realm of wrestling. Finn never needed to endorse him. Finn never needed to stand behind him and tell him that he was doing good. It was known.
Paul, though he hated his familial pairings, at least had the public support of his siblings. And still, he was jilted and angry about Joeís consistent backing up. He understood Paulís need to do things on his own — so did he. But that was where it ended.†
Dickie didnít need anyone to prove his worth. He didnít need endorsements, he didnít need support. But he had it. So when he said he understood, he really did. Montuori wasnít anything more than he was just months ago, trying to be better, trying to rise above and do better things than his siblings and the people around him. Paul was trying to make his own name in the world. And he was going to have to do it on his own, in his own way, the way that didnít have him fighting for superiority in a world that didnít want to give him it. He wasnít so bad in the long run. And he was a good wrestler. After all, heíd nearly bested him once, right?
He had to give him credit. He wasnít saddled with someone like Graham Clauson, who stepped out of the company. He wasnít saddled again with someone like Amari Kent, or any of the people who could have been given. Paul was a wrestler, and underneath all the sass and determination to be something, Dickie knew that there was a kid waiting for his ability to realized. So that he could rise to the top.†
Maybe in all of this, there was a silver lining. They would be able to get along. For now. But Dickie would never be stupid enough to fully believe the have your back clause that everyone seemed to take a face value. Heíd been fucked over so many times now that it was pathetic. And there wasnít any way that this fuckiní Jacob Black-lookiní primadonna ass was going to get the heads up on him. He knew he was better than that. He could do this. He could tag with his number one enemy, they could make it through because they both wanted to win. They both wanted to succeed. And it was going to take more than throwing a pair of persons together that didnít know how they other reacted to topple them both off their thrones.
He looked up at the sky one more time. The sounds of the city never died out, even in the nighttime hours. The roaring of the cars, the beeping of car horns, the constant chatter. This was the clarity he needed for the calamity of his life.†
He could do this.
Toxic Tag wouldnít know what hit them.
Aiden Reynoldsí apartment down on the west side of Queens was, to be perfectly frank, the complete bachelor pad of yore that you saw in romantic comedies before the woman appeared. The trash can in the extremely small kitchen was filled with pizza boxes and take out, but not a drop of garbage touched the clean floor. A few empty cans of Monster Energy scattered the table, along with really shitty beers, but there wasnít a crumb in sight. The living room, the twelve feet of space from wall to wall to wall, had a single couch, threadbare plaid with a spring sticking out of the side, itsí arm† against the wall, just in front of the large seventy inch television screen where a Playstation 5 sat amidst a treasure trove of video games. There was a stack of DVDís and games in a shelving unit next to the television, where a few books sat, but mostly biographies of wrestlers from the days of yesteryear. Behind the couch was a weight bench, an Australian flag draped behind it for “artwork”, and a couple of sweatshirts hanging off the head of the bench.
It was a mess, but it was clean. It was clear that the Australian cleaned. He was just messy, and that was fine with him.
Dickie sat on the couch, his legs pulled up onto it as he criss crossed them, scratching his nose before yelling at the screen a very loud expletive. The Australian man next to him laughed loudly, obviously having beaten him once more. He scratched his beard and blinked soothingly in his direction.
“I thought you said you didnít want to get pegged, mate.” Aiden joked.
“Oi, feck off!” The British National snapped, raising a tattooed arm and blasting him with a middle finger. Aiden guffawed as he always did as Dickie rose to his feet, setting his sweatpant-bloused foot on the floor and walking around the couch. Surely, he was headed off to kitchen to reach into the refrigerator and bring out a cold one of his own. He paused in front of the weight bench though and stared at the bar, where a rather lacy, fluorescent pink bra hung off of it.†
Of course. Dickie muttered to himself, a smirk rising to his lips. “Mate,” he added, a second later, “are you cross dressing?“
“Eh?” Aidenís head whipped behind him, and turned a dark shade of crimson, almost as red as the logo for Red Rooster in Australia. “Thatís not–I mean, I donít–“
“You Lady Roo-ga? Koala-Ti?” Dickie sniggered.†
“Oh, fuck off, yeh?” Aiden snorted, shaking his head as he turned back to his lobby in the game. Dickie shook his head, laughing to himself. It wasnít as if he didnít know about Aidenís relationship with Kallie. Theyíd taken every bit of their relationship slowly, especially with the Australianís previous quiet divorce from an otherwise tumultuous marriage. He was semi-surprised that they were already at this stage, but honestly, he wondered if a lot of it was a lot quieter than theyíd let on initially.
Although that didnít really matter to him. Kallie was probably good for Aiden. She kept him grounded, and he seemed to think just a little bit more than he used to before doing anything that would have been perceived as outlandish or stupid. He was happy for his friend, even if his own relationship was burying itself in the flames of Hades.
He reached for the refrigerator handle, and opened it. More take out and pizza, but it looked like a handmade dish was in there too. He snickered to himself lightly and pulled out a drink, before leaning against the counter and looking at the television set.† Aiden was already in another game, and this time, Dickie took the break that he needed. He wasnít ever good at Call of Duty, but that didnít mean he didnít mind playing with his friend. Still, his mind wandered, and it wandered back to his tasks at hand.
Tag team championships, one place.
Toxic Tag, the other. The fucking Tag Wars.
Toxic Tag took precedence. As he walked back to the couch and flopped down onto it, he kicked his feet up on the TV stand and watched as the flashing lights and sounds from the game covered his mind. It was a shitty as fuck match, to be said. Eight teams, all of differing rivalries, would come together and face off.†
Heíd finally be in a ring against Shawn Warstein, but it wasnít the same as what he knew either of them wanted. Even as rough as allies they were now, they would be equally as rough on each other in the ring. They wanted to face, but not now. The time wasnít right. They needed to align before they worked on fighting one another.
And yet still, there were so many options.
Too many options.
“Donít you have something to be preparing for?” Aiden cut through his thoughts, and he turned his head.
“You know how I am, mate.” Dickie started, turning the can of Monster in his hands and setting it down on his knee. “Iíve prepared. Iíve prepared everything Iíve got for this, and while Iím honestly not sure how this is going to go, the only thing I can do is go in there and do what I do. I mean, itís not like Iím tagging with someone I know. Or admire, really, at all.“
“Ah yeh. I forgot it was the tag match from hell. Who they got you tagged with, Ďeh? That black haired model kid?“†
Dickie nodded, taking a sip of his drink as he did so. “Yeah. Heís the one thatís had me and Warstein on edge.“
“Ah, that fuck. Thatís right, I remember you telliní me about that shit.” He scoffed, shaking his head. “I fuckiní hate put together tag teams, especially when itís someone you canít fuckiní stand.“
The Calamity shrugged his shoulders a minute and shook his head. “Itís not that I canít stand him. You know how much it takes to get under my skin, how much I seethe before I say anything. Iím not mad. Iím learning how to deal, and what this match will do will allow me to figure out how this man works. Working with Montuori…itís just as much of a preview of what I have as it is a preview of what I can do. We can make it work. Itís not…heís not as bad as it seems. I believe that. But I know the second itís done and we come out with the win? Itíll be back to hatred on a Tuesday.“
“Thatís to be expected, mate. You know what it was like, getting thrown into shit you donít appreciate and having to make good with it. But…I know you, Dickhead. Youíll be able to do everything possible to win, no matter the opponent, no matter the person.“
“Thereís a lot of names in the cookie, you know. Dollface, Vincent Black…I think he got paired with Warstein, and you know how well Warstein works with people he dislikes. Itís not like heís with Raven, or even Granger. Heís going into this at a disadvantage just as much as the rest of us, and I just am hoping that weíre on an even playing ground, you know? But all of these names…itís just a lot of people that I need to take more focus on. Look at more closely. You know me. I donít go into these things without looking at everyone. I just wish there was all the time in the world so that I could.“
“Youíre resilient. Youíll figure it out. I mean, Asher JulesÖ.Apathy and Annicka Swan. I mean, the other Montouri is dealing with the whole cheating scandal where he took the other dudeís wife, who happens to be in the match. You could get anyone, and fuck, that uh…whatís her name, Vodhka Black? Sheís awesome, and her husband is there…itís just a lot.“
“Look at you keeping up with my shit.“
Aiden snickers, just as he blasts someone in the head in the game with his sniper rifle. “HAHA BITCH. Yeah, man. Of course I am, I am your tag partner on a regular basis. What else would I be doing?“
Dickie pondered this, and he nodded. He got it.†
Aiden was right. Everyone was at a disadvantage. The highest thing he had going for him was that he was going into this not only a champion, but the champion. Dickie was one of the best competitors that they had in FIGHT!, and he knew it. Heíd proven that, and that was going to be something that they would have to deal with. Even in his own unfortunate pairing.†
But he would take it in stride. Thatís what he did. Thatís what champions did. Like everything heíd ever been saddled with before, he took it and he buried it, put forth his best effort, and did amazing things regardless of what he thought he could do.
And now he had to just show it.
He could do this. Toxic Tag was his to win. No matter what. He would work with Paul Montuori. He would do what he was supposed to do. He would support him, because in the end…that mean he was supporting himself.
Ö.right now…the only back that he needed to have was his own.†