CALAMITY VI // MOTIVATION
By: Dickie Watson
Date: 24th Sep 2021
CALAMITY VI // MOTIVATION
As the days moved closer towards the end of September, it was clear that Autumn was beginning to set in amongst the streets of New York City. Even so, that didn’t stop the people from spending hours upon hours at the beaches of Coney Island. The ferris wheel revolved in the background, a common and familiar sight to the people who frequented this area. It would always carry a bit of allure for the traveller, the tourist. But for some, it was a close-knit place where family was born, built and prospered.
The rails of the wooden roller coaster thudded and clanged in the background as Dickie leaned back in his seat at one of the various little outdoor bars he and his long-time tag partner sat at. He was shaking his head, clearly not agreeing with something that his tag partner said, but wasn’t willing to vocalize it. Instead, he pressed his hands to the back of his head and closed his eyes.
“I dunno. Something is settling with me weird here.” He stated.
Across from him, Aiden Reynolds — complete with a New York Mets ballcap on and a Hawaiian shirt to fit the “look” of the end of summer, leaned forward on the hightop table and rested his arms across it. “It’s not like any of ‘em haven’t had your back, mate. Betsy. Kasey. Warstein. Even in every environment, y’all have existed together in some sort of weird harmony. I get it. I mean, with Betsy being ‘Sister Mine’ and Kasey being his bed buddy…“
Dickie leaned forward too, pressing his hands into the table as he mimicked Aiden’s pose. “You know his first thought was to bring in James Raven. But honestly, that’d just be fucking Legacy plus One, and I’m not sure if that’s particularly what we all want. Raven and I get along, we always have, but I just…I feel like it’s setting me up for something…negative. I feel like I have to have eyes on my back. We’re already in shitville with Dynasty and The fuckin’ Cure wakling around these parts looking for weak links.“
“Are…” Aiden peered at him, narrowing his eyes. “Are you literally calling yourself the weak link?“
“The fuck else am I, hm?” Dickie frowned, running a hand through his hair as he dropped his head down. “They all just got the fuckin’ Islands Championships. They work well as a team, clearly. And I’m the odd man out. Yes, I know,” he started, looking upwards Aiden and shaking his head yet another time. “I’m aware I’m the Empire Champion. Yes, I’m aware that I’ve held it since July, yes I’m aware people are gunning at me for the championship. I get it. I just…man, I don’t fuckin’ know. I just have a bad fuckin’ feeling about this.“
The Australian peered at Dickie through his continued narrowed eyes and then, sat back and crossed his arms. “You fuckin’ jokin’ with me, mate?” He started, incredulously as he looked upwards at the sunny sky above them. “I’ma need you to remember, real clearly here, that you are ten leagues above a lot of any roster that you come across. You’ve got this problem where you believe that you’re shit, and you’re far from it, mate. Look at you. You’ve been doin’ this a hell of lot less time than I have, and you’re what…a multi-time champion? Inaugural champion out the wazoo, every fuckin’ place you’ve been you’ve made waves and you’re worried about…what exactly? People turning on you because of what exactly? You’re on the podium a little higher than the next dude?“
Dickie’s eyes narrowed just as much as Aiden’s. It wasn’t in anger. Nah. Gone were the days that Dickie got mad at Aiden for anything other than a stupid comment made on a day that ended in “Y”. But he also wanted to point out that Aiden just didn’t get it. It wasn’t about the whole championship. It was literally about the fact that he felt like he was on his own. Again. In a company that wanted him strug up by his throat for the fact that he simply dared to do better.
He knew the weight of what being a champion meant. It meant keeping an eye behind you while you strove to fight ahead and be the shining star of the company. It meant watching your own back in the mirror and making sure you were above the demeaning bullshit and that you were representing the company with open arms. And because of that, he couldn’t trust anyone, because anyone could turn around and use their power to cut into him. They didn’t have to be enemies to do it either. If they had the Blood Money, they could challenge him just the same as Montuori had in the first Venom so many weeks ago. So many things had happened up to this point that he’d been forced to become a team with people that otherwise wouldn’t honestly give a shit if he bled out on the tower floor.
But isn’t that what he wanted? A moment in time where he wasn’t surrounded by people who supported him, a moment where he could remind everyone he rose above everyone else without the help of his family, his loved ones, his pals?
Before he could even answer, a loud clicking sound echoed across the small space. Dickie looked up and around the area, inspecting the crowd around them for someone to have made the sound. But there was nothing. At least, not anything either one of them could pinpoint and call out. But a second later, a giggling girl ran up to Dickie, quickly pulled out her camera phone, made a peace sign, and another CLICK! later, dashed away.
Leaving a completely bewildered Australian and British duo behind.
“What the balls, mate?“
“I…” Dickie’s eyes were wide. “That hasn’t been the first time this week either. I mean, I know The Tower is getting its publicity and I mean, my fuckin’ picture is all over Times Square, but…“
Aiden leaned forward. “Lookit who’s famous. It’s ickle Dickeridoo.” He teased, pointing at him and using his accented voice very much like the late-Steve Irwin as he pointed out some positive attribute.
“Fuck off, I’m n–“
Another camera shutter sound was heard and Dickie frowned, looking forward as he pursed his lips. It was different, when he was on camera — he was supposed to have the lights, the camera, the adoration of the fans. But this? This was bordering on annoyance. Bordering on the nth degree of harassment.
“Fuckin’ quit!” Dickie yelled loudly to whomever decided it was a good idea to take a picture of a man while he was having a drink with his buddy in a public area. A few people popped their heads up, looking in his direction curiously. “черт возьми!” [Fuckin’ hell!] He muttered under his breath, leaning forward and pressing his forehead into his hand. He hid his face, knowing that some fuckhead was going to take a picture of his outburst. If he was lucky, he wouldn’t end up on the seven o’clock news.
Aiden peered at him again, leaning forward. He snickered a bit, the side of his mouth curling upwards. “I think you made it that much better with your outburst, eh?“
“Fuck off, Aiden.“
It was never good when you hauled off and punched some random guy in the street because he was heckling you.
On his way back from Coney Island to his weekly visit with his brother, Dickie hadn’t had the greatest of situations unfold. And he couldn’t say he was proud of his own actions either. But now, here he sat in his brother’s kitchen on the counter with an ice pack resting over his bleeding knuckles. Leaning against the counter across from him was Finn, his arms crossed and his eyes staring at him with curiosity in the blue orbs. Dickie said nothing, feeling like he was a child that was just as easily demeaned and told he was about to go to bed with no dinner.
In the background, his mishap was playing upon the television in the living room. The moment had been captured, of course, by a few tourist cameras as he’d turned in the direction of the man causing him distress and flung his right fist into the center of his nose. If it were a dart board, and Dickie’s fist had been the dart, he would have gotten fifty points for it landing dead center in a snap motion.
Finn looked at the television and then looked at him. Dickie bit his tongue between his teeth and frowned.
“This isn’t you.” He finally said, his deep voice almost disappointed in him.
In terms of family, Finn was the only person he had left. Well. Besides Aiden. But Finn was his strongest supporter now, and he hated the fact that he’d disappointed him. He slouched in a bit, like a child about to be berated.
“Dude, you need to stop being so reactionary. What caused it?“
“I…” he started, and then closed his eyes, hanging his head. “It’s been all fucking day, mate. For the past week. FIGHT! is gaining notoriety and so are the rest of us in the company. We’re fuckin’ everywhere, and I get pictures taken of me in random restaurants. I get people looking at me like I’m some kind of interesting circus freak. I mean, I’m on camera all of the fucking time, you would think I’d be used to this…“
“But you’re not.” Finn confirmed for him. He let out a sigh, and then pushed off the counter, passing the man sitting upon it and heading for the refrigerator. He pulled out a Guinness and set it down, before leaning against the granite one more time. “It’s an invasion of privacy, but you’re gonna have to get used to it. Especially if you’re at the level you’re at. Hell…maybe you could lose the Empire title and people wouldn’t look at you so much.“
Dickie snorted and shook his head quickly. “Fuck no. That thing is mine, and I won’t even entertain the thought it won’t be with me. It’s just…it’s fucking dumb. The dude was telling me that Montuori was gonna beat me, was going to destroy me, and take the championship. While it’s always an opportunity…“
“You’re better than that. You’re so fucking high strung now because of the last company that you’re not even aware of how you’re responding. You’re always going to have people who treat you like you’re dung on the side of the road. You’re always going to have people who treat you less. You just have to keep showing them you’re better than that. It doesn’t matter if someone jeers you for leaving to better yourself, or jeers you for your fate against Paul. It’s all about how you respond. Because I know you, and when you get frustrated, you make mistakes. You can’t be doing that here coming up.“
Finn pushed off the counter once more. “Think before you act, Dickie. Think about what you need, what guides you, and look at who you are without the shit that everyone else says. You can never be the champion you want to be if you continue giving every fuck in the world. I’m not saying become a heartless bastard, but at the same time…realize words are just words.“
Dickie scoffed once more. “I know that.“
“You get awfully irritated with people’s words.” Finn’s smile was disconcerting and the Calamity winced. “See?“
“You want everyone to believe you are what you say you are and when you hear differently, it pisses you off. I know. I remember.“
Dickie stared at his brother then, and cocked his head to the side. “So…what exactly did you do to ignore it?“
Finn thought for a second, and then laughed. “You know what…I just…stopped giving a shit. I really just stopped giving a shit, I’m not even kidding. Let them say what they’re going to say. Use that shit for motivation. Do this for you, Dickie. Not for the people around you, not because you want everyone to feel one way. You’re never going to rise to be the person you think you need to be if you can’t do that alone.“
He turned then, heading for the living room in order to change the channel. Dickie thought for a moment, before he sighed and then hopped off the counter. Maybe…just maybe, his brother was right. Maybe he could just…learn to ignore it. It would take time. But eventually, even the worst of words in his direction wouldn’t hurt. It just would take him hardening a bit to get there.
Maybe…maybe he could do that. Build it as his only motivation.
A motivation to succeed.
Let’s talk, Todrick.
No. Seriously, let’s sit down and have a chat, shall we?
When I congratulated you a couple of weeks ago, mate…it wasn’t a false kind of congratulations you might hear from someone else in this business. There was no moment of bullshit there. I truly meant it. Congrats on taking on Joe Montuori and rising above the world as you needed to. As you were, perhaps, destined to. It fits, doesn’t it? That feeling of pride you receive when you do the thing everyone else thought you were incapable of. You sat there and you told the rest of the world that you were enough.
But was it?
The Manhattan Championship rests in your palms, and not only do you have the rest of New York City to prove that you can represent that borough in your hand, but you have to prove it to the world. Miss F, Xavier Wolf, everyone in the top of the Tower knows what you can do. They know that sometimes, even in the most crazy of times, you can pull off the biggest upset without even thinking that it’s possible. That you have this sudden opportunity to rise above and fight, win, and have victory in the worst of times. With the worst possible opponents, the most difficult. No, they know what you can do.
And they know what I can do.
In order for you to gain that championship, you had to tell yourself over and over that you were enough. That…what was it, all your life, you had to fight. Same, bruh, same. Not only from the day I started wrestling, but from the life that I grew up in. Heckled. Disdained. Hell, it continues on and I have to say…it’s not the easiest thing in the entire world, but you and I, we’ve made it work. We don’t fit the label that society wants to put on us, right? We don’t fit the label that the Montuoris, what the man you defeated and his brother put upon us.
That’s important, friend. Extremely important. You see, the Dynasty needs to fall, and we are the cogs in the machine to tear them apart and out of the Tower itself. The more that people like you, or I, or our new Islands Champions keep people like the Montuoris out of the circuit, the more that we survive, carry and build this company to greater heights than we’d ever seen.
You were enough…on Venom Seven. You were enough to carry gold in this company, you were enough to rise to the challenge. But now we sit, looking across the stage at one another, and it’s not about how much you think you need to be in order to face me, but what you have to do to succeed.
What motivates you?
Is it Austin? Do you look at your husband and ask yourself daily what you can do to build yourself to be the light of his life? Do you look at him and tell yourself that if you push yourself to become what you think he desires — not that you aren’t already — that he’ll love you more? Do you want to do the best you can simply for him? Or is it something else?
Does gold motivate you, Todrick? The feeling of pride swell within you when you look at that championship of yours? I’m sure that’s part of it now, too. You don’t want to be heckled. You don’t want to be torn apart by the cogs of the company. You want them to recognize you for the champion that you are.
Or is it simply the weak and weary that motivate you, mate? I think you said the last time that you were fighting for all the people who were kicked down by society, that wouldn’t be represented by the normal, the calm, the serene and the obtainable. Of course, some of those are my words, but I do think it’s fascinating that you would put all of your effort out there for people who otherwise wouldn’t give a damn.
But that’s neither here nor there, right?
Let me tell you what motivates me.
Some people might say it’s pride. That I’m prideful of the fact that I own this championship belt now, that I’ve held it for so long. But there’s a chance in the near future that I won’t have it, so I have to really dig down and look at myself for what I am. When it was announced last week, when Warstein, Granger, Winterborn and I finally made it official…we needed to put out there that the old bullshit wasn’t going to fly anymore. We weren’t the remnants of Outlaw Pro. We weren’t the rehashed, old names that simply changed names and still acted he same fucking way they did before. No.
We were the new gears put into the old machine in a new resurfaced clock with a different time zone setting. We made the charge, we pushed into this company in order to get what we wanted. Recognition. Fame. Championships. Whatever you think it is, you name it…we probably were in it for similar and different reasons all together. But there’s something to be said for strength in numbers, and after constantly being derailed by Dynasty, it’s one of those things where enemies make for better friends than we all thought.
We have one more gear to put into play, and then our machine will be working so much smoother than we thought it could. But it doesn’t run on pride. At least…not for me. See, my motivation is something so much more realistic than you might think, Todrick. Maybe even a bit selfish…you see, I do this for me.
Let me let you sit and let that sink in.
My Dickie, that’s pretty fuckin’ selfish of you. Yeah. Maybe it is. But after spending so many years of my life thinking I was doing things for the people around me, for them to see who I truly was, who I could be, and finally getting the recognition that I deserved…I realized I was getting used. Used for my kind heart, used because I would have stood up for anyone around me that I felt was getting cheated or abused in the sport. I love my brother, but I don’t do this for him. I don’t do this because of my tag team partner. I do this because I, Dickie Watson, have to realize that I am not only good enough, but I am the best damn wrestler in this company.
I had to be. I had to be smart, witty, resourceful and unrelenting to gain this championship at the hands of my friends. I have to be smart and resourceful now, even with the people that I trust. We’re all in this together. We’re all here to take down the rest of the field, but at the end of the day, I have to realize that I am why I fight for me. And while the fans will always be there cheering me on, if I don’t trust the person I look at in the mirror, if I don’t tell myself that I’m going to come back and respect the person that looks back at me with the same features and hair and skin…then what the fuck am I doing this for?
In the end, Todrick, you are facing the Empire Champion. And while I may have congratulated you and welcomed you to the podium, please realize that the Dickie Watson you’re getting in the ring is the man that needs to succeed. If not for anyone else but myself. I have a legacy to create, a world to build and a man to put down into the ground so that he never thinks of himself so highly again. I’m not about to be some fuckin’ paper champion, unable to contend and retain when I come into a company that I’m looking to dominate. And unfortunately, it starts with you.
I’m ready to tear apart souls to get to where I need to.
So tell me, is that enough? Are you enough? Or are you going to stand down and let me survive?
You tell me.
See you in the Tower, Todrick. I look forward to our match.