"Who would've thunk it. A drought, 2 years long. Finally dead. A streak, spanning an entire career. One name marking defeat each year. Finally dead. But at the same time. After such a long time clinging, dragging and clawing towards it. The goal has been reached. I'm a Champion again. A conundrum stands before me. What's next?"
It's been a few days since Matt Tastic basically ducked his way to a new Championship. Dodging Callie Clark's desperate attempt to defeat him in the match she feared. Her emotions drove to the danger she was so afraid of. While Matt's veteran savvy let him avoid definite disaster to finally capture the Elite Openweight Championship.
The elegant title, not so elegantly is draped on a turnbuckle as Matt works out in a ring. After a day or two to recover from his injuries, Matt went right back to work. Before Matt had a direct goal in his mind. An objective he could grasp. But now as the famed Roulette Rounds approach, it's total mystery what stands in front of him. Anything can happen. From a simple tag team match to a title defense. Or even a golden opportunity could stand before him and he would be none the wiser. But despite lacking a proper objective, he knows one thing. And recalls the words told about him.
"For all the years I've been around, it's funny. Despite all the titles I've won, I've actually never felt this scared to lose before. Maybe it's the fact that I'd be defending at home and not know about it. Maybe it's the fact that it's been so long that I don't know how to cope with a title defense now. Or maybe it's because the last time I had this thing, I lost it on the first defense. But who knows....."
Matt cleans up and heads out. Hungry, he makes his way down a nameless street in a nameless city. People going right by him as if he wasn't being seen. Black pants and black hoodie covering, he makes his way to a sandwich shop he see's. Entering it, a bell rings over his head. He takes a seat.
"I'll have an extra large Coke and a Reuben."
Matt's not exactly known for his proper diet. He gets his cup and starts to sip on it but suddenly....
Matt is startled, recognizing the voice and turning around to see her, waving at him as she takes a seat next to him. Stacey Madison, WZCW reporter and alleged homewrecker surprises Matt in the shop and sits next to him.
“Close your jaw. No interview. I just came here for a quick lunch.”
“No fancy bar to run to with your friends?”
“It's noon. Iced tea and a crossaint, please.”
The clerk nods and serves the tea, then heads to the back. Stacey takes a slow and steady sip from her cup as Matt just sucks on his straw.
“By the way, congrats on FINALLY winning another title. A bit silly but I know how much it meant to you. You must feel pretty happy now. No more grumpy Matt, right?”
Matt stops sipping soda like a maniac and ponders on Stacey's words. Where exactly is the joy of another great accomplishment?
“Matt? Hello! You're going to your home as Elite Champion. Seriously. You're going in a bonafide hero. Your home needs you after the Huracane. How's your family, anyway? I hear there's hardly any electricity still.”
“There isn't. Grandmother died. Aunt died.”
“Oh. I'm so sorry to hear that.”
“It's OK. It was heart attack related due to stress. I'm not looking for sympathy for it or to make it too big. I'd rather celebrate their lives than dwell on their deaths. But that's not what has me down, Stacey. I won the title. I should be happy. I should be electric about finally doing what I wanted. But I'm just wondering what's next. What's in the darkness that lies ahead?”
Stacey looks at Matt with a sad face, reflecting on what he said. But that sadness turns to laughter as she just explodes in giggles, clutching her now aitching ribs.
“Oh jeez, those 'edgelord' jokes I've been hearing aren't that far off, hahahaha!”
Matt just looks at Stacey irritated by the noise she's making.
“Listen, you're a veteran. You know it doesn't stop after you win a title. Maybe its just your veteran insticts telling you to stay on your guard. It's been so long since you were World Champion, maybe you just forgot how its done. Seriously. Lighten up. Enjoy it.”
As Stacey talks, Matt takes a bite out of his sandwich and another sip of his drink. He seems calm as Stacey speaks. Despite her past with other wrestlers, Matt feels trust in her. A fraternal bond grown by two workers who spend so much time close to one another. Like lifetime classmates.
“It's not like I feel bad or something. I'm just wondering. What if I lose it in the Roulette Rounds? Something outside of my control could happen.”
“Or you could win the Mayhem Championship or something. Stop worrying and just do your best like you should. No one knows what they'll get. You don't always get what you ask. It's about what you do with what you get.”
Stacey gets her croissant. Well, not exactly. She gets a ham sandwich instead. She does not seem pleased. She slams her hands on the table. Startling Matt and his cup of soda lifts up in the air. A few drops flying off. He looks at her and Stacey just stands up furious.
“Hey! I asked for a croissant! This is not what I asked for!”
“What happened to doing what you can with what you get?”
“You shut up! I want my croissant!”
“I wouldn't mind a Mayhem title.”
"I said shut up!"
The clerk comes out from the back and has the croissant at hand. Giving it to Stacey.
“Apologies for the confusion, ma'am. Have the sandwich on the house and the croissant too.”
The clerk leaves to the back again as Stacey goes from furious to happy. She sits down as Matt looks at her, bewildered.
“What? Is it the boobs? How the hell did two sandwiches out of it?”
“Lesson number two, Matt. It's not just about doing what you can with what you get. You also have to be assertive, Matt. You should know this. It's how you got your title shot in the first place. Go for the throat! Do what you can. Don't work for the system. Make it work for you.”
Stacey props up her desirable bussom confidently.
“It also helps to have the right look if you know what I mean. Here. Have it. I don't want it. Think of it as a present for your big title win."
Matt grabs the sandwich and looks at it. It's plain ham. He looks at it.
"Gee, thanks. Listen, Stacey. I appreciate the words. It is a fear of the unknown. I feel like there's so many consequences to what can happen. I guess I just got blinded by that instead of focusing on winning. I think about this thing Ty~~"
Matt stops and looks at Stacey who seems interested in what he's saying, but he catches what he was about to say. He rethinks it.
"Ty~Hi. Random person waving. I think about what a guy once said about me. That I'm an all-time great. But I forget that I have to earn my wins. They aren't just rewards I deserve for my time here."
Matt averts his eyes away from Stacey. Awkwardly taking a sip out of his blatantly empty cup.
"Ty. Ty said that. He's not wrong. You're a veteran. You know what you have to do. Do it. Whatever it takes to get ahead."
Stacey's wording scares Matt who's eyes bug out. But he gets the point. She gets up and pats him on the head.
"Well, I'm heading out for a set of interviews. You take care. You do you and things can go your way."
Stacey leaves as Matt looks on.
"Maybe she's right. Maybe instead of worrying about what might come, I should embrace it and do what I can to get ahead. It's how I won my title in the first place. I avoided disaster to get ahead once. I can do it again."
Matt gets up and asks for his tab and looks at it.
"Ah, sir. I think you charged m-Son of a bitch, Stacey slapped her tab on me. Motherfucker!"
She got ahead again.
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