My First Crush

By: Tyler Bradford

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 18th Mar 2022

Hello Shawn, 


This is the first time we’ve met. I mean we’ve passed like two ships passing in the night before, but we both independently decided it wasn’t meant to be. So this is it, the start of our story. Yes Shawn, we’re going to have a story. See, I walked through the door of FIGHT with all the pomp and circumstance of an actual kingly procession. Why? Why draw attention to myself? Why put a target on my back? Why have the first words out of my mouth be an insult to you? 


I’ve been looking for you. 


So how did we end up with us? How’d we get to this point so quickly? I had hardly finished swiping right on you before the notification went off. So how did I do it? See, I’m a bit of a gambler Shawn, I’m what some would call a ‘wild card.’ I had to play to your ego because I want you to be angry, I had to play to Dickie’s ego because I NEEDED him to make this happen. So at the same time, I had to impress and infuriate simultaneously. It was a bit of a juggling act, throwing jabs but not revealing the power behind them.


So I walked out to the ring and talked about tyrants and Alvril Levigne, I talked about what this vile wrestling promotion championed. Shawn, I had to mask my true intentions behind a wall of ‘asshole’ and ‘dickhead.’ I had to spout nonsense to get attention, I don’t care who the roster of Fight-NYC fucks. It was a dangerous game, I could have ended up with plenty of things I didn’t want. Or, in Sahara’s case, what nobody besides another billionaire wants. But that guy is a weirdo with a white knight complex. 


But why, why was I looking for you?


It’s always a thing you see, it’s always that Shawn Warstein has ascended to some unbelievable height that is unassailable by most mortals. You made the climb here, you survived the hell known as Blood Money 2, you earned your match with Dickie Watson. May 2nd, Warstein and Watson meet. And in the meantime, you’ve been granted one wish. And you were unselfish, you did what a good boy would do. You decided nobody could attack you or Dickie Watson. 


See why this was so difficult? 


I couldn’t do what everyone else does. I couldn’t sit in the crowd, jump a barricade and smash you over the head with a chair while my friends Eddie and Big H hold you down, and shush you in front of thousands. If I did that, I wouldn’t get what I actually wanted. (Don’t worry Shawn, I won’t forget about what I want, we’ll come back to that.) So, with the easy way removed as an option: I had to do it the right way. 


I know, I know, I get it. Coming into a promotion and talking shit on the guy in the Pay-Per-View main event isn’t the right way. It’s actually a great example of a short cut, but it had it’s risks Shawn. See, I’m a smart guy, I like being methodical, I like being measured. And this time, there was far too much to calculate. Because of your silly little rule, I had to put in twice the work to get what I want. 


But what were my options? Walk into some office and ask for this match?




I don’t think that’s how it works. Even if I started putting hundreds on the table, I don’t think they were going to let me buy a confrontation with you. So I had to present Dickie Watson with a zero loss proposition. He had to want to see me get punched in the face, but he had to be curious enough about me to put me in the ring with you. Dickie being selfish and booking all your matches until you faceoff was smart, much smarter than what you decided were the rules of engagement. 


So I had to insult Dickie’s smudge proof eyeliner to get to this exact point. I have no qualms or quarrel with Mr. Watson, or the rest of the idiots I talked about to mask the scent. I just have a problem with you Shawn. See, when I was sitting down at a Miami Nightclub table debating my future with some dear friends. When I made the decision to get involved in this business, the first thing that came up when I mentioned combat sports. The first name that waltzed out of the one person at that table with half of a fucking brain, was yours.




I was sitting at a table with my friends, at least my friends this evening. The woman on my left was already pocket fishing, Eddie sat across the table, his Armani suit and sunglasses that I had bought for him looked good. H, all six foot four and three hundred pounds of him stood at the only entrance to the den. His name is Herbert, but he hates being called that. And considering I’m pretty sure he could swing me around by my feet and toss me into the sun, I’ll just call him what he wants. Which is H. 


So, H stood at the entrance and screened potential guests coming into the VIP area. I had rented out the entire thing, the professional athletes and rap stars in the room were forced to mingle with the common folk. I’m pretty sure some guy who looked like T-Pain had try to talk to H, but he was under strict orders. Only the best looking women could partake in my columbian marching powder fueled debauchery. 


So the blue, green, and pink lights of the night club danced across the marble table towards the white powder I had aligned vertically between Eddie and I. The blonde in my pocket had found the buried treasure, it was just another night of debauchery in a world riddled with it. I took the fifty dollar bill Eddie had prepared for me and smashed another line of the powder up my nose. 


I immediately felt the warmth rush over me. My face was flush, I could feel my cheeks and ears start to burn, and then the euphoria took over. The screens around the VIP lounge were illuminated, and my eyes flashed to them. I Ignored the tugging of the pocket blonde, and watched the combat on the screen. My eyes were wide, whether it was from the cocaine or amazement I was uncertain. Either way, I was enthralled enough to remove the blonde’s hand from my pocket. 


“Gimme a few minutes hun,” I whispered to her, at least I thought I had. I wasn’t sure if she had heard me over the rhythmic pounding of the dance club trance music. Eddie took his sunglasses off, placing them on the table. I noticed that his pupils were the size of grapes, and I’m sure mine were as well. He spun around in his chair, to see what had caught my eye. 


“You still like this shit?” Eddie shouted to me. I could hear his voice over the music, so I knew I was still mostly lucid. I nodded to him and continued to stare, the men grappled together on the screen, tossing each other back and forth across the ring. Eddie and I had been friends since we were children. We grew up in the same neighborhood in the cesspit of America known as Cleveland, Ohio. 


Eddie was an athlete, and I was the motor mouth, who earned a black belt when I was ten. He went to school to play football, I went to school for my grades. Truth be told, Eddie should be the one making the decision here. He’s nearly six foot seven, but Eddie doesn’t have the brains for what I decided to do. He never did, he was my muscle, my way out of fighting. I’d be popping off at the mouth too three or four guys, and Eddie would walk over and the dynamic of the situation would change immediately. When we were young, Eddie and I watched wrestling together. We watched Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock together. We pretended to be our favorite wrestlers when we played on the trampoline. 


We were normal kids. 


Eddie was the only person I could trust when I waltzed my way into infamy as one of the richest people in the world. He had been there for me as a kid, even when the football scholarships came pouring in, we still stayed close. So when his career ended on the gridiron after college, it was only natural who the first member of my security team would be. Eddie turned around and looked back across the table at me. 


“I know that look…” he said to me, shaking his head back and forth. “You haven’t fought anyone since we were kids, guys like that? They’d fucking kill both of us.” 


He was right, the guys on the screen would have killed me if I had tried to fight them at that moment. But, there was a desire. I could feel it in my chest, it tightened and my pecs spasmed at the thought. That, or I was having a heart attack from the cocaine. Either way, I didn’t fall over dead, so it had to have been the wrestling. 


“Ty, no… this is like the drag racing thing…” Eddie quickly reached for the bag in his suit jacket pocket and tapped another line of white powder on the table. Before I could even ponder the thought of grabbing the rolled up bill, Eddie had placed it and the powder in his own nose. Eddie leaned back, taking a deep breath and letting the drip work its magic as it ran down the back of his throat. After a few moments, he collected himself and looked at me again. 


“Just like the drag racing, just because you can drive a Ferrari at two hundred miles per hour on the freeway and not die does not mean you are a fucking race car driver, Ty. Just because you have a black belt doesn’t mean you should try to fight these juggernauts. Shit, that guy is bigger than me.” He was worried. Paranoia was a side effect of the cocaine. 


“Then what should I do?” The pocket pirate blonde beside me tried to give me an idea by pulling my chin towards her face with her index finger, but I shoved my hand at her. Her words could wait, plus that may have been the hand that was tugging on my sailor Jerry. 


“Enjoy life, bang that chick tonight. Go home to your wife and kids, just live.” That’s what normal people would do, they’d be comfortable existing. Find a menial task or hobby to envelope their time. Buy a sports team to engross themselves with. But I’m not a normal person, I hadn’t gotten rich off of my calling. I had achieved my wealth almost on a whim, by sheer happenstance and circumstance. But I had done it all already, I had seen the world, I had eaten the greatest foods, I had homes in five countries. None of it mattered. It was all absent of purpose. My life was absent of purpose. 


“I don’t, I don’t… I don’t know.” We left it there that evening. The idea floating in the wind, I went home and banged the blonde in the guest house because I’m not allowed to sleep with random women in the bed I share with my wife. Well, she has her own room. It was more the kids walking in while I was banging the nanny that was the issue. But you know how it goes, some days you bang the nanny, some days you bang the chick at the club, but you never bang your wife. 


But before we left the club that evening, I looked up at the television and one name caught my eye. It ran across the screen, the announcer shouted it at the top of his lungs. The man walked out determined, you could see the greatness he was destined for in his eyes. That man’s name?


Shawn Warstein




You were it, you were my first Shawn. My first crush in the world we call wrestling, sure I’ve had others since you, but you were my first. You’ll always be my first. That childhood love, my heart fluttering when I walked past a television when I saw you on it. You were so dominant, such a fantastic champion. A true ace of every promotion you’ve ever been in. 


I went to the supermarket and asked people their if they knew your name. I asked them what you did for a living, and you know what they told me? “He’s the guy that wrestles.” They knew you, they knew all about you. There I was, one of the richest men in the known universe and do you know what they knew about me? 


Nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. 


You’re in tabloids walking with your girlfriend, I’m living the life of a degenerate, borderline vagrant as one of the richest men in the world. And nobody batted a fucking eye. Nobody cared, some idiot ran up to me to film a Tik-Tok video a year or so back. He told me I had a nice car and asked what I did for a living. I just smiled, what was I supposed to say to the kid Shawn? What was I supposed to tell him? 


“Oh yeah, I made a fortune off of bitcoin.” 


I’m a dweeb, a loser, a moron who happened to luck into one of the largest fortunes the worlds ever seen by buying a commodity nobody wanted because I listened to a fucking TED talk. I had to change the narrative Shawn. I had to show the world that I was someone who deserved the accolades. Deserved the recognition. I lusted after it, I craved all of it. And there the wrestling business was, waiting for someone like me to come along, arms wide open. 


Shawn, there’s no escape now. You’re going to be in the ring with me, I’m going to come face to face with you. My first wrestling crush and I dancing in the main event of the greatest promotion on the planet. Could a billionaire ask for more? I wanted the fame, I wanted the desire. I craved it, I begged for it. I schemed to get here. 


Do you think I’m going to let this chance pass me by Shawn? 


No, no my love. 


I’m not like everyone else here. 


I’m going to leave you like I’ve left countless bodies across the country. I’m going to stick my finger to your smug fucking lips, I’m going to hush the crowd, and I’m going to drive my knee through your skull. I’m going to leave the crowd in a stunned state of silence. The largest promotion in the world will realize, you aren’t the tyrant you say you are. That you and Dickie Watson aren’t solo at the top of the mountain. 


That something new has emerged from the depths. 


I’m no King Shawn, I’m no Tyrant. 


No Shawn. A new challenger has emerged. The Monster of Fight-NYC has arrived. And I’ll see you at Venom 18.