Donít Be Nice
By: Shawn Warstein
Date: 10th Sep 2021
Donít Be Nice.†
I have to tell myself that every day. Yet everyday it gets harder and harder to say that. Iím blessed beyond belief, and yet still I have to remind myself of the wolves in sheepís clothing.†
Donít Be Nice.†
Wake up. Shower and make myself presentable for the world, yet for what? All thatís going to come of it are people trying to drag me down to their level.†
Donít Be Nice.†
Walk down into the kitchen, and see her smiling face. How could I possibly continue to front like Iím miserable? How can I for one second think that there is more to want. Fuck that, what I have is more than enough. When I look at her, even when sheís not paying attention, I smile.†
Donít Be Nice.†
Iím reminded of the journey we both took to get here. The battles we had to endure from the outside. And for what, Because we are happy? That we have found someone else within this business that knows, and understands the pitfalls that come with it? Or is it jealousy?†
Maybe itís all in my own head, but I look at the landscape of Fight before me, and I see nothing but a bunch of assholes parading around as if they mean a goddamn thing to me. I see that Michelle gave birth? Maths is hard.†
Congrats are in order, the situation surrounding it aside, it is a blessing. Also a thinly veiled Congrats to Brandon Moore. Letís run the tape again shall we.†
Shawn shows up at your behest.†
You suggest Russian Roulette.
Shawn plays your dumbass game.
You claim weíd be unstoppable.†
Shawn doesnít help YOU break the pin and we “lose”.†
Let me be clear Brandon, I couldíve broken that pin. I couldíve easily helped you. I made a business decision. Sorry I misspoke. I made an Industry decision. The great Brandon Moore, two time toxic tag team winner, bested by King Dipshit One and Two, all while Shawn watched it go down.†
You are right to be angry. You are right to feel screwed. Brandon, I allowed you to get your revenge after the match. I sat idly by and watched. Remember you said it.
“You build the boards on which we play.”†
And in one night, I proved that false. You were never running the game. You never even had a piece on the board. I told you I disrupt the established order. Some would say I bring chaos, but thatís not true.†
I bring the flashlight capable of shining the light on the fallacy of man. Does that make me a god? No. Does it make me the devil? No. What it makes me, is right.†
Right with every word that comes out of my mouth. Right by my decisions. Right with all my actions. Youíre fighting for your own ego and pride. Iím fighting for everyone that has had to sit by and watch a Brandon Moore promo and think to themselvesÖ.
What the fuck was that? This is the big bad bully? This is what people seem to think is great?†
Bitch, you havenít seen greatness yet, but donít worry, youíll have my full attention soon enough. However Iíve got to handle someone that Iíve already had the dishonor of standing across from.
This fucking Apathy Bitch again.†
Why wonít you just fucking jump off of a cliff already? Seriously what is this placeís hard on for shitty one sided matchups? You couldnít even do me the pleasure of stepping into the ring properly with me last time.†
I fought through the masses. You tried to put me down, and yetÖ.
Iím still here. Iím still breathing. You are not capable of stepping up to me. You are nothing more than a footnote in my story here in Fight. Yet wait thereís more.†
“Fuck your white picket fence…I won’t settle for anything less than an empire at my feet”
Really? An Empire at your feet? How you have so much hubris with so little to show, is beyond me. Iíve taken on the best this industry has to offer and come out on top more often than not, and you.†
Havenít. I donít see you as a Queen ready to lead. Hell I donít see you as someone who needs my full attention, and yet here you are AGAIN. Mostly due to poor booking, but letís spin this so it fits the overall narrative better, yeah?
The great Shawn Warstein gets an opportunity to right a wrong that happened several weeks ago and in doing so will show everyone that it doesnít matter who you think you are. What you think you deserve. Or even who you bring with you. All itís going to take is one Kingís Crown and youíre done.
Iím not going out there with anything less than retribution on my mind. I told you there is no Cure for me last time. Youíre going to find out that Iím the vaccine that is going to cleanse the Fight Tower of all of you.†
Apathy I need one thing from you. I need you to actually show up. I need you to give it your all. I want you to Fight for something. I need you to show me that youíre worth my time. Show me that youíre more than what I believe you to be. I want you to make me eat my words.†
You wonít. I know it and deep down you know it too. This is just another step towards the eventuality of everything. Know it. Bask in it. You are a pebble on a beach filled with thousands of them. Apathy, this time Iím going to prove my point the only way I know how. The way Iím most akin to. Iím going to violently eviscerate you in the middle of the ring, leave you as the martyr to your own little band of dipshits. When Iím done with you, there will be no apathy, no empathy.†
óóóImmediately Following Venomóóó
“Dammit Betsy!” I snarled as I grasped my jaw, a small trickle of blood flowing down to my chin. “Couldnít have been a few seconds earlier?”
Betsy walked up next to Kasey and I, as we made our way down the Fight Tower hallway. “Oh brother mine, youíll be fine. A few scrapes and bruises, ya big baby. Itís not even the worst thing youíve ever been through.” Betsy laughs slightly. “And besides, where’s the fun in being there right when you need me?”
My blood begins to boil slightly. “Fun?!? You think that was fun?!?”
“WellÖ.” Betsy stammers over her words for a moment, a rarity for her.
“Youíre goddamn right it was!” I smile and sling an arm over Betsyís shoulder. “This is all like we planned.”
“Iím not sure the plan went exactly as thought, babe.” The angelic voice of Kasey breaks through to Betsy and I, as we both turn towards her. As if we were actually siblings we share the exact same confused glance. “Well surely getting beaten down wasnít part of the plan.” An exasperated look from Kasey as we continue down the hallway.
“Youíre right.” I said as we reached the door to the locker room. “However we all knew the risks that were present. Thatís why we constantly have to have the upper hand.”
“The numbers are always going to be against us.” Kasey stated as we opened the door to the locker room and walked inside. “Itís been like this since you and I started flirting. Everyone has had something to say about us and our relationship. I just want to know that youíre thinking this all the way through.”
Inside the locker room are a few couches, a monitor, a small fridge and a couple of lockers where all of our gear is, as well as a shower in the back. Betsy is the first to plop down on a couch, kicking her feet up on a coffee table situated between the two. Kasey and I follow suit, sitting across from Betsy.†
“I know, itís part of the reason why Iíve been on the offensive.” I lean my head back and place it on the top of the leather cushion. “I love every second of our time together, and I feel like I need to quiet the masses before things get out of hand and I do something stupid.”
“Again.” Betsy chimes in as I snap my head towards her. “Before you do something stupid again. Just put it this way brother, youíre not the friendliest of people, and you have an acute ability to get on people’s nerves.”
“Aww thank you.” I feign blushing and cover my heart. “Thatís one of the nicest things youíve ever said about me.”†
I was punched in the arm by Kasey. “Thatís not necessarily a good thing, honey dearest.”
“What do you mean?” I said while rubbing my arm before Kasey moved my hand and began rubbing it herself.†
“What I mean isÖ.” Kasey was immediately cut off by Betsy, a slight huff from her but she allowed Betsy to take over.†
“It puts the people you care about in harm’s way.” Betsy leans forward placing her arms on her knees. “You have to know that right?”
“I meanó I” It took me longer than normal to process the information. I didnít know how to react. Should I be angry? Concerned? Worried? So instead I chose what I always do. “No one is forcing anyone to be here.” Brash ego with a slight hint of dismay. There it is again, ĎDonít be niceí floating in my head. “Thereís the door.”
“ShawnÖ” A gentle hand on my shoulder from Kasey. “We arenít going anywhere. As much as you say it to yourself that you donít need anyone, the Shawn I know. The Shawn I see daily, knows thatís not true. Just look who is in the room right now. Iíve been through the worst with you and we came out stronger, and Betsy has been the only person Iíve ever seen you put above yourself, until me that is.”
“Sheís right, you know.” Betsy stands up from the couch and takes a seat next to me. “Brother you know what needs to be done, constantly, but for once you need to know this. You canít say you planned chaos, all you can do is survive. Thatís what all three of us and Dickie are good at. Taking on wave after wave and still standing at the end.”
“Fine. At Venom we will take the fight to them.” I hold out a fist for Betsy as our knuckles touch, I lean over and give Kasey a kiss on the forehead. “Until then BetsyÖ” Ringing true in my head, ĎDonít Be Niceí.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah Iím a ghost.” Betsy walks towards the door pausing as her hand falls on the doorknob. “Call Raven dick.” As she opens the door a small envelope falls to the ground. She picks it up and looks it over. “Here, apparently the front office needs to contact you about your carís extended warranty.”
Betsy tosses the envelope towards Kasey and myself. It landed right on my lap, highly impressive aim from Betsy, before I could comment on her skill the door was closed and she was gone.†
“Wonder what they need this time.” I said under my breath as I began to tear it open.†
“Youíd think by now theyíd have your number to text or call.” Kasey smiled and read the note at the same time.
“I never gave them my number.” I quickly responded while glancing over the note.†
“I should feel honored then.” Kasey said while reaching the end of the note. “Why the hell would they ask YOU to do that?”†
“I donít know.” I sat there looking at the letter in pure bewilderment. “There are many other people way more capable than me.”
“Is there tho?” Kasey questioned. “Think about everyone else. You and I may have a few red flags, but everyone else is parading around with a full on color guard.”
“Lesser of two evils I guess.” I begin to tap my foot against the ground feverishly. “Should I do it?”
“What could it hurt?” She grabs my right hand and begins to caress the top of it. “Worst case you do what you do best.”
A crooked smile comes across my face. “And whatís that?”
“No-sell it.” She pats my hand. “Letís get cleaned up and get home.” She gives me a wink as she stands up and heads towards the showers in the back of the room.
“Shit you ainít gotta tell me twice.” I hop over the coffee table and other couch, falling over the back. I kip up to my feet and brush myself off before disappearing into the showers.
óóóThe Next Afternoonóóó
Inside this conference room is a table set up in the front, out in the masses there are several reporters. Each one with a pen and pad in their hand, several recorders are set up on the table. I pace behind a door, as she has been this entire time Kasey is standing with me.†
“Ready?” She says while trying to keep me focused.†
“I donít want to do this.” I said while cracking my neck.†
“Well you heard what they said.” A quick kiss on my cheek.†
“Yeah I know, the most well known member on the roster needs to start acting like the face of the company.” I said while smiling and making my way towards the door. Sensing something amiss Kasey grabs me by the arm, not in a forceful way but more of an attention garnering fashion.
“You okay?” She said in the most sincere of tones.†
“Yup, just gonna go out there and get this over with the best and most efficient way I know how.” I smile and step out into the room.†
Cameras flash, and a huge banner on the wall says ĎFight! NYC Media Scrumí, as I take a seat and pass a note to the moderator. He quickly looks it over and nods, giving me a thumbs up. As he walks to the podium a hush falls over the room.†
“Mr. Warstein has asked that you keep your questions brief and to the point. He doesnít care if youíre a lifelong fan or jerked it to posters of him; just get to your question and move on. Thank you.” The moderator looks around the room as a man stands up while raising his hand. “Yes you. Go ahead.”
“Thanks.” The reporter meekly responds before clearing his throat. “Youíve been all around the industry, whatís it like standing in the ring with one of the greatest of all time in Brandon Moore?”
I stare at the man blankly and furrow my brow. I take a deep breath into the microphone in front of me and give the man a quick shrug and roll my eyes as over dramatically as I could muster.†
Apparently they thought they were going to get an actual answer because they were silent for a bit before I waved my hand for the next question. Another basement dweller stands up.†
“With the recent actions of certain members of the roster against you, are you prepared to go to the lengths they are in order to secure your spot?”†
I raise a hand to my chin and drum my fingers across it. I lick my lips and lean into the mic again. Once again not saying anything, just an unassuming shrug. Once again the idiots wait longer than youíd expect, but after a point towards them another one stands to his feet.†
“Why are you here if youíre not going to answer any questions? We were told you were going to be open and dare we say it, personable.”
The Mountain Dew chugging virgin was right. I need to say something. With a deep breath and exhale. I once more lean into the microphone. “Iím only here so I donít get fined.” The call back to NFL Legend Marshawn Lynch gets a slight chuckle from the group. Once again another reporter stands up.†
“So with Toxic Tag in the rear view mirror, no one on the roster could match you dollar for dollar. When the bidding opens, are you going to take a crack at Dickie should he retain?”†
There it is. The question almost no one wants to hear right now. Why would anyone ask that question? We are in the fight of our lives right now. Trying to stake a claim in a new company filled with so many people that have been up and down the roads together. We are the outsiders looking in, we are trying like fuck to keep our own heads above water, and they ask if Iím going to take a shot at Watson. Before answering them I took a glance at the doorway, peering inside I caught the faintest glimpse of golden blonde hair and fiery red hair around the corner of the door jam. The truest of smiles fell on my face. I know whatís next, but letís make sure to keep them waiting. “Iím only here so I donít get fined.”
“Thank you for your time Mr. Warstein.” The moderator stands at the podium and gives me a quick wave. I walk away from the table and into the back. Standing there waiting for me, as usual, is Kasey.†
“Well that was something.” She said while grasping my hand as we walked out into the lobby. “So are you ready for Apathy?”
“Are you ready for Korrupt?” I said without thinking.†
“I think so.”†
Itís been a minute since Iíve seen this side of Kasey. For as long as Iíve known her, sheís exuded nothing but confidence. It is one of the many many things that make her irresistible to me. I honestly donít know how to respond to her. She mustíve noticed my hesitation.†“I just donít know.” She sighed heavily.†
“Well if I may offer a bit of advice?” Normally I keep my thoughts on her career to myself. Sheís one of the best in the ring, even if she doesnít see it herself. We both stop and we lock eyes. She gives me a slight nod. “Itís way easier said than done, butÖ”
“Donít be nice.”
Fade to Black