By: Ricky Rodriguez
Writing Prompt: Yes
Date: 14th Nov 2021
Respectful. Naïve. Kind. All throughout my career, these are the three things that have described me the best. Hell, not even just my career but my life in general. I’ve always been a firm believer in treatin people how you want to be treated. But maybe one time outta ten, you actually get the same treatment as you give and it’s fuckin sickenin.
I’ve been respectful to people who don’t deserve even an ounce of the respect I’ve shown them. Respectful to people who would throw me aside to suit their own bullshit. Respectful to people who have used me for everythin I’ve got in me and when that usefulness wore out? They showed exactly who they really are.
I’ve been naïve to see just how shitty ninety percent of you really are. After all the shit I’ve seen? I’ve been a part of? In just the few short months I’ve been around here? Nobody has ever had the right to judge me for how I did things. Just like none of you are, in any way, shape, or form, in a place to be able to judge me.
And lastly, I’ve been kind to people who deserve nothin but the absolute worst. Despite what so many people have told me, I’ve always kept this word closer to my heart even more than the others. I’ve held this one to be the strongest of them all and what has it gotten me? Nothin. Nothin but heartache and ruined opportunities. I should have listened from the start but I was too fuckin stupid to listen to people like Sahara. Cause I was too blinded by the self shinin spotlight from people like Paul and Joe.
But no more. I won’t limit myself for the benefit of others. Never again will I put myself in a position to be used. This is a whole new time. A whole new approach to this whole thing. Why should I show respect to people who don’t respect me? Why should I be kind to people who have never shown me the same kindness?
Some people might not like it, but I’ve seen it for myself..seen it first hand. I’ve tried and tried to fight it but I’ve finally accepted it. This is what I hafta do if I wanna be successful here. This is what I hafta do if I wanna keep up with the egotists, the killers, the druggies, the liars, and the manipulators. I never wanted to do this. I fought so hard against this but you can only get stabbed so many times before you hafta start stabbin back. And here..here is my first stab.
Faceless Female: ‘Relax yourself, body and mind both. Turn everything off and focus on nothing but the sound of my voice. Let everything else melt around you. Let it melt until there is nothing else but the sound of my voice.’
The first couple of these sessions, I couldn’t do what she wanted. I could hear her voice clearly but I just couldn’t do it. There were too many other influences. Too many other thoughts refusing to let go of my mind. I don’t know what it was about this particular session..but it worked.
I could feel myself slipping away, hearing nothing else but the sound of her voice. There was nothing but darkness all around me, for as far as my eyes could see.
Faceless Female: ‘I’m going to count backwards from three to one and then we will begin. Three..two..one.’
Her voice faded off as she said one. I felt myself slipping away just as smoothly. I felt..separate, almost, from myself. I knew I was laying there but it’s like I was stuck. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t even lift a finger.
Faceless Female: ‘What I want you to do, Ricky, is exactly what we discussed. I want you to just..let go. Let go of everything you’ve ever held back. You have a match coming up. A man by the name of Paul Montuori.’
Despite seemingly having no control over my body, the mere mention of Paul caused my face to twist into a scowl. There was a sort of amused sound that came from her as she saw my face.
Faceless Female: ‘Interesting. Even just hearing his name causes you to become angry. You already told me what happened but I want to hear what you really feel.’
I didn’t really want to get too into it. My feelings aren’t a secret. Anyone who knows me exactly how I feel about Paul and that should have been enough. But it wasn’t. Almost as if on command, I began to speak, not of my own free will, but more of a desire to speak what I really felt about the whole thing.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘From a professional aspect, this match..the match against Paul Montuori, it should be a match that I’m honored to be a part of. When you think of Paul Montuori, all you can think of is success. Paul, without a doubt, is one of the biggest names in Fight..no, in the wrestling world period. To be able to say that I’ve gotta match against someone as accomplished and well spoken of as Paul, that is supposed to be a career highlight of mine..
Supposed to be. But here’s where things change. This is where the personal aspect comes into play. They tell you to never meet your heroes. And I now see why. I see why it’s better to stan someone from the side than it is to run with them. You get someone like Paul and only see the good. You don’t get to see the real person till you get up close and personal with them. That’s when you see the difference between the hero and the man behind the mask.’
Faceless Female: ‘Ascension is where everything really started unraveling for you, isn’t it? Where your eyes started to open, as you put it before. Explain.’
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘At Ascension, me and everyone else in the world saw the difference. For all the bravado, all the shit talkin, the braggin, the downplayin of Dickie, all of it. When it came down to it, Paul failed. He failed to capture the Empire Championship. He failed to put Dickie Watson down for the count. Not for lack of tryin tho. But tryin or not, Paul still let Dickie walk away exactly how he came in.
But nah, that ain’t even the worst part of it all. It’s what happened on Night Two, durin the Ascension match itself. See, Ascension was more of an eye openin experience than anythin else. And I’m not talkin bout finally bein able to see whatta two faced bitch Joe Montuori is. Oh no. I’m talkin bout what happened later on. I’m talkin bout what happened when it all came down to it.’
For even the slightest fraction of a second, I could feel a bit of a pull. Just a hint of hesitation but before it could become more, her voice rang true in my mind.
Faceless Female: ‘Please continue.’
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘Me, Toddy, Michelle, and even Joe. We fought for Dynasty. We fought with every last bit of fight we had left in us. We left it all out there. But when it came down to it? You bitched out. You. Gave. Up. You showed me and everyone else whatta cowardly little bitch you are, Paul. A Captain is supposed to go down with the ship, not to dive out of it and swim off when things look their worst.
I have gotten kicked around, mocked, ridiculed, and tossed to the side time and time again. But the difference between you and me? I always get back up. Even when things have looked the worst here, I have always stood tall in the face of my downfall. But you?‘
Spitting off to the side combined with the venom dripping from every last word he spoke revealed how utterly disgusted he had become with Paul. His face twisting with that same disgust, Ricky continued on with just as much malice as before. She clearly wasn’t none too impressed with Ricky spitting on her floor but nonetheless, she let him continue.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘You tucked tail and ran. You can’t really get much lower than that, can you? I looked up to you and you showed me how fuckin stupid I was for doin that. You never shoulda been leader. You failed as leader of Dynasty. Hundred percent, we woulda been much better off with Michelle as leader. Least she knew how to keep shit together. You’ve been fuckin inept since the beginnin of this. Slowly but surely becomin worse..and worse..and worse. And now look at you. This ain’t the Paul that anybody wants to face just for the clout, oh no.
This Paul is a far cry from the Paul of before. The one actually worth facin. I’ve had my down moments here but they don’t even compare to how far you’ve fallen, Paul. For all that vanity, look at you now. Usta have skin most people would hafta photoshop for. Now all oily and shit. Crows’ feet startin to show up, becomin more defined. Laugh lines like a motherfucker. Hair usta be commercial worthy now all frizzed out and all over the place. Fuckin look at you, Paul. Straight worn the fuck out. Lookin like the before picture in a Proactive commercial. When’s the last time you even washed your ass?’
Those words were followed up by a laughter, not even close to the usually light hearted one that came from him. With his right hand, Ricky reached up to smooth the hair atop his head backwards and out of in front of his closed eyes.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘Y’know, at this point? I don’t even care if I take the win here. I just want to prove a point. I’m gonna beat the hell outta you Paul. Ima pool up all these negative things I’ve been feelin and Ima take every last one of them out on your ass. All them pent up frustrations that have been just buildin over these last few months? I’m gonna liberate myself from every one of them.
With this match, I’m gonna fix myself. Despite anythin said, any shape you’re in, a win over you is still a win over Paul Montuori. And that’s a hell of a thing to get me right back on the track I need to be on. The path I was blind to while runnin with you. The path I was denied. The path I’m gonna happily return to after I kick the ever lovin shit outta you, Paul.’
Faceless Female: ‘I’m going to count backwards from three to one and you will be back in this room. Three..two..one.‘
The impactfulness of how she said one was enough to bring Ricky back into control. His eyes snapped open and he slowly pushed himself up to a seated position.
Faceless Female: ‘How do you feel, Ricky?’
Turning his attention to her, Ricky simply gave off a shrug of his shoulders before pushing himself up to a standing position. Smoothing out the black leather jacket he wore, Ricky began making his way towards the door leading out of her office.
Faceless Female: ‘I think we made great progress today, Ricky. I can’t wait to see what breakthroughs you reach in our future sessions.’
A slight laugh slipped free from the lips of Ricky as he opened up that door and started walking out into the waiting room.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘Same time next week.’
That door closing behind him, Ricky breathed a sigh of relief. He felt a weight being lifted off of his shoulders as soon as he finished making his exit from the building. He wasn’t verbal with it but the feeling he gained from opening up about Paul and everything felt..amazing. A new leaf has been turned and it will be for the better.