AS 115 - Flex Mussel versus Garth Black versus Mikey Stormrage
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I sat alone in the back corner of the boiler room of The Royal Farms Arena.
I was in an unusual place. I had just wrestled the match of my life at Kingdom Come, and I lost. I gave everything I could give, but in the end I failed. It didn't matter that I essentially wrestled two men that night. History would only show the L on my record. History would only show that I lost my World Title that night.
I kept looking down at my phone, the brightness of the screen one of the few light in the bowels of the arena. I wasn't expecting anyone to call or text, but I wanted it. It seemed that I had burned every bridge I had made along the way. There was no more Matt Tastic, despite what had been said at Kingdom Come. No more Eve Taylor, another in along line of failed romantic pursuits in my life. Mom and dad were lone gone, I had gotten over that in time.
In truth, I think I knew well that eventually I would end up here, alone, in the dark, with nothing to show for my work. I just never thought it would be so soon. I had wrestled a Hall of Fame worthy career, entertained fans across the world, been on TV, gotten to experience life's luxuries, but not without a price.
Normally this is about the part of the night where I would be trying to get in touch with one of our general managers or someone in the know to find out information about my next opponents. At the moment, I honestly didn't care. There wasn't a man or woman in this company that I hadn't wrestled and beaten. They could put me in the ring with King Kong, and it wouldn't change my approach. I was determined to prove Kenneth Banks wrong.
When I walked into Mr. Banks' office earlier in the night, I was nervous. I've always been a nervous person. You think that years of performing in front of a camera, in front of thousands of people a night, it would be something I would have gotten over, but alas I guess it just will never be. I did my best to walk in with a swagger and bravado, to show him that I meant business. Something in that man had changed however. Money changes people, that is an absolute fact, but why now? Banks had been in charge of WZCW for years, and rarely did he show signs that he was corrupted by his own gains. He had amassed a small fortune before he bought the company, so why now did he suddenly care about the almighty dollar above all.
For him to reject my rematch, I was deflated. I was broken. Justin Cooper and I wrestled in arguably the greatest Kingdom Come match of all time in front of seventy thousand screaming fans. We held them in the palm of our hands that night. The animosity, the spite, the hatred that we felt toward each other could not be more obvious, and these fans ate it up.
Cooper was the better man that night, even if he had to use that rotten Mark Keaton to help him achieve his goal. That didn't seem to matter to Banks. The only thing that seemed to matter to him was that I wasn't "a draw." That I was someone washed up and unfit to be champion.
My entire outlook changed when I walked out of that office. Mr. Banks had changed, that much was clear. Why or how was unclear. I wasn't sure what his motives were. I honestly didn't care. His rejection, his assessment of me, had made me feel broken, but even birds with broken wings want to fly.
WZCW: Join Today
Garth Black cut a solemn figure as he walked along the bank of a river. The river wasfairly calm, gently lapping up to the bank, but the sky was overcast and the mood is ominous. There wasn't much of a breeze, but there's enough to cause a disturbance on the river.
The winds of change weren't really blowing anymore either. I mean, sure, there's a new champion in Justin Cooper, but there was still a slight undercurrent, a slight undertone that maybe he'd sold out on his principles a little bit. Cooper made a huge song and dance about not using Keaton to cheat his way to the top, and I guess that's a noble thing, but taking advantage of the establishment's desire to keep a real change of direction on top is a lot worse.
When that referee, the snivelling, conniving, wretch of a man got in the way of Black's certain destiny, Cooper was faced with doing the right thing, or doing the easy thing. I guess it's not so hard to see why. He was beaten, so he started cheatin' but the moral of every single story in every single book reads the same, the comeuppance will come up to the surface at some point, and whether it's for the title or for pride, I will show you, Justin Cooper, exactly how much of a bad decision that was.
Garth bent over and picked up a stone, and then skimmed it across the surface of the water. It bounces along, once, twice, three times before sinking with a final splash and then nothing.
Black knew a title shot was not on his horizon. The WZCW powers that be were doing precisely the right amount to keep him out of the picture. He wasn't winning matches, but he wasn't losing them decisively and he had begun to realise that he was being taken for a ride. A donkey with a carrot eternally dangled before his eyes.
Black had achieved his championship shots by beating champions with a collective 6 title reigns, and yet, he still couldn't get a fair match. A win is a win, and a loss is a loss, but Black was stuck in limbo, never winning, but never really losing either. A rat in a cage unable to escape or die.
Should he quit? Go on strike? The ideas had crossed his mind, but there was a part of him who understood that that’s exactly what they wanted to happen. On the other hand, he had risen to every challenge presented to him in the most honest and clear of was and yet there was still no respite. No reward. No resolution.
So he was faced once more with a situation both simple and hard at the same time. He had to face Mikey again. And he would have to beat him again. Mikey didn’t deserve another shot, and beating him would be as much of a pleasure this time as it had been every time before, but there was still something quite galling about having to face him again.
The powers that be often have the audacity to accuse Black of hypocrisy. If you deserved another chance, and complained about it so much, so does Mikey and you need to get back in line. But unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that. Stormrage is a 2-time World Champion, but he’s a 0-time Title defender. Black’s done that. Cooper has done that. He’s not in the same league league. Stormrage has done nothing to maintain his position at the top. Apart from a lucky victory against me, he has barely won a major match since he was gifted the title in the first place.
But Black was conflicted. He knew that the only way to be the champion again was to give them no other alternative but to make him the contender. That meant beating anyone with any credibility. He had beaten Tyrone too recently for them to dare, and it looked like the WZCW move of outward oppression to disguise the persistent and constant subtle oppression of people like him were going to keep both Blades and Vis Imperium out of the picture for a while. Tastic had never really recovered from Black beating him and Titus looked pretty tied up for now. Eve Taylor was on the wind down too, it seemed. Mikey, as the former champion had a weak claim to going back there, and Black absolutely needed to show just how weak that claim was.
That just left one person left. The clear anointed future star. Tastic had come and gone, and setting him up against Flex was exactly the way to show that. Flex Mussel was one of the very first casualties in the unstoppable tsunami to the top that Black had embarked upon all those months ago. In the time away he had grown stronger and more brutal and there was no doubt that Black had his work cut out in facing him next. But there was a chink in the armour. It was clear that Mussel was as stupid as he was strong and had spent times in teams where that was compensated for. He had been able to rely on his strength to get him this far, but perhaps the WZCW had, in trying to stack the odds further against Black, actually made his life a lot easier. In a three way match, Mussel was going to have to use his brain, and that was an organ where mass can’t be added in the gym. The numbers game counts against people who can’t count.
You need three things to make it in this business, the brawn, the brains and the bravery. This match probably showed each of those characteristics in each of its competitors, but ultimately Black had the most total package. He knew he was going to win this, he had to. Otherwise he had been proven wrong that he deserved to be on top.
Black stood by the river and continued to think for a while. The wind started to pick up.
WrestleZone Tournament, 2015
Last edited by Tastycles : 03-13-2017 at 10:51 PM.
Flex Mussel and his assistant Charles “The Cheesecake” Chesterfield can be seen inside a Flex Fitness gym. But not inside the workout area, instead they are in the kitchen mixing cake batter much to the dismay of the fitness freak. The two were recently given jobs in the company due to Charles’ amazing home recipes, and therefore are now the heads of the special new gourmet division. Except in reality Charles is in charge of Flex, but neither feels comfortable speaking openly about it. Flex is in a ill-fitted apron as he angrily continues mixing batter. He looks outside the window of the kitchen to see trainers barely helping clients, not correcting their bad form or even pushing them as hard as he would like.
Charles: You gotta mix the batter softer than Flex, it’s all about being gentle so the ingredients mix in at once.
The monsieur of muscle turns his irritated gaze toward Charles who quickly backtracks from his statement.
Charles: It’s okay though, I know for someone as strong as yourself it can be hard not to muscle your way through everything. But for everyone else please use Flex as an example of what not to do.
Flex turns his attention away from Charles and much to his surprise he sees the crowd of people also in the kitchen who are being taught cooking lessons from Charles, it seems during his intense staring he completely forgot they were there.
Charles: Now once you feel you have mixed everything in as much as possible pour it gently into the pan and make sure to get every drop in so you’re not wasting-
Flex: Jesus christ are we really doing this?
Charles: Um...yes Flex, it’s very important for the cake to have the perfect amount of batter so it can-
Flex: I’m not talking about the damn cake Charles, I’m talking about this class.
The people in the class are confused at Flex’s interruption and Charles does his best to turn the conversation around to keep things on track.
Charles: I see the kitchen may be getting a little too hot for some of us so how about we take twenty minute break and come back.
The class chuckles a bit at Charles’ joke much to the annoyance of Flex, and proceed to exit the kitchen only leaving Charles with the bodybuilder.
Charles: Are you okay man? I got a protein shake if you need-
Flex: Don’t patronize me! I used to own this company and now I’m playing a glorified assistant in a cooking class while less qualified trainers are responsible for the fitness of MY clients!
Charles: Look, I understand that this may be hard for you but I can’t have you distracting my students Flex. You knew what you were getting into accepting this job.
Flex: I did it to destroy my enemies from the inside not to waste my time making Chocolate cake.
Charles: You were supposed to put in vanilla batter! Now how are we supposed to have tallest amount of stacked vanilla cakes?!
At that moment Flex walks away from Charles and leaves the kitchen so he won’t physically harm Charles. As he walks into the main training area he only grows angrier as he can’t partake. He quickly enters a nearby restroom to avoid his feelings getting out of control. He splashes some water on his face but as he looks into the mirror his face is now covered by Masquer.
Masquer: Miss me?
Flex: Now’s not the time.
Masquer: Really? Seems like you could use someone to talk to. Chef Boyardee out there doesn’t seem to be as useful as he once was.
Flex: I’m not using him.
Masquer: You’re not? Then what exactly is his purpose?
Flex: Did you ever think I just like the company?
Masquer: That worked out real well for you last time.
Flex: This isn’t the same.
Masquer: It is Flex? Your incessant need of friendship is what’s holding you back. You’re helping that imbecile cook in your own gym instead of training. Baking cakes won't help you beat Garth and Stormrage.
Flex: Mikey and cakes seem like the perfect distraction actually.
Masquer: True...but that’s not the point damnit! You’re going up against former world champions. You’re getting exactly what you wanted, you have the chance to beat two of the biggest names in WZCW in foul swoop. If you really want be the World champion you can’t squander this opportunity.
Flex: You’re not talking to the same Flex who had dreams of becoming the best through sheer positivity and hard work. I realize what I need to do and it’s not just win, I know I need to destroy the competition. Showtime, Slaughter, Ramparte,Tastic, and Theron were just the start. The WZCW roster is only going get thinner as people like Garth and Mikey stand in my way of title contention. I’ve already decimated Garth before and have beaten the man who’s beat him twice, and Mikey is a shell of his former self.
Masquer: You can talk about it all you want but as the children say you must “be about that action!”. The real Flex Mussel wouldn’t just apply this new attitude to WZCW, but to his whole life as well. You’re going to let the corporate puppets who took this place from you make you some Chef’s assistant serving the same trash that made you a fat toddler? Where’s your integrity Flex? Where’s the Flex who had the sole purpose of making this world a healthier place?
The bodybuilder began to think about the words of his imaginary motivator. He realizes that despite his newfound focus and aggression he still has lost sight of one of his biggest goals. And that is ridding the world of obesity. He begins to remember how obese Charles is, he begins to think about how Flex Fitness has become a corporation bent on keeping people fat instead of making them healthier. Flex then realizes what he must do. He splashes another handful of water on his face and exits the restroom. He proceeds to walk back into the kitchen to see Charles dicing strawberries with insanely accurate precision much to the enjoyment of the class.
Charles: Get over here man, you’re missing out on all the fun!
Flex: Absolutely unacceptable…
Charles: I know, so grab some strawbe-
Flex: NO! THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE! I want everyone to take a good look around you. You are in a world renowned fitness center and you’re in the kitchen making cakes?! You’re feeding right into their hands. You’re letting them make you fat, so you can continue to come here and workout, and then eat, and then get fat again!
Charles: Flex just calm-
Flex: Don’t you dare tell me to calm down. You wanna know why I haven’t been able to put you in the shape you want to be in? Because you’re in here making cakes insteading of cutting out the fat that makes up 80% of your body! You’re all in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Much like Mikey Stormrage and Garth Black all you do is go in circles. Everytime Garth Black loses a match he blames it on the corporate powers that be so he doesn’t have to face the reality that he doesn’t have what it takes to win the World title again. Mikey Stormrage on the other hand benefits from being “the underdog”, every time he loses a match he’ll go away and weep, blame it on low self esteem or too much weight and then start all over again. The thing you all have in common is that you all have no intention of changing, you feed right into your own problems by not accepting the reality that it's your own fault, and nobody else's.
The monsieur of muscle rips off his apron and throws it to the floor.
Flex: The difference between me and all of you including Stormrage and Garth is that losing isn’t an option for me. I was publicly targeted by WZCW corporate but you don’t see me blaming them for my past failures. And just like Mikey and all of you I was once a fat and out of shape loser but I worked hard to become the most physically fit man in the world! The simple fact is I want to be healthier more than any of you do, and I want to be World champion more than Garth and Mikey. If they lose this match they can fall back on their excuses whether it be conspiracies or ring rust but I have nothing to fall back on, especially not a company that has turned into corporate greed. I no longer want to be associated with this company, my focus is purely on WZCW. I’m done with this bullshit.
Flex walks out of the kitchen as everyone in the room is extremely uncomfortable and not self-conscious. A single tear is shed by Charles as he no longer knows what do.
Make America Healthy Again! - King Mussel
Credit to Dave
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