K.C. IX: Kagura vs Garth Black
RP Deadline is Tuesday June 19th at 11:59pm PST
**NO EXTENSIONS AVAILABLE**
Exactly two days before the Lethal Lottery, an unwelcome figure ambles their way into WZCW towers. Always a gentleman to the people beneath him, he had no problem getting into the building. The problem was, Garth Black, hadn’t made an appointment and Becky Serra didn’t want to see him.
With uncharacteristic patience, Black waited politely outside her office, occasionally checking with a secretary if Becky had time to see him.
Eventually, she let him in.
Serra: What can I help you with, Mr. Black?
Black: I think it’s time we buried the hatchet, Miss Serra. I am willing to come back to the WZCW.
Serra: You do realise, I hope, that the onus is most definitely on you to prove that we need the hassle? We recently agreed you could be backstage, but now you want into the match?
Black: Yes I want into the match, but the match needs me.
Serra: How on earth does our marquee match of the year require someone like you?
Black: You seem to be sorely mistaken, I am doing you a favour. You’ve got Titus running rampage in the Eurasian, and nobody is anywhere near him. You’ve got Matt Tastic, the loose stool that somehow won’t flush hanging around offering nothing and everyone else isn’t up to it. Tyrone Blades, the man I beat at Kingdom Come last year, will win the WZCW Championship again. Nobody you have is strong enough to do anything about it, and you need me. You need a fresh face, but your fresh faces can’t get off the undercard, because they’re not good enough.
Serra: And you, who debuted in 2009, are the solution to that problem?
Black: Well who else have you got, Mikey Stormrage?
A pregnant pause fills the air as Becky is unsure how to reply.
Black: Oh my god, you’ve actually got Mikey Stormrage. The stalest thing since sliced bread in the match haven’t you?
Serra: No comment. Why aren’t you stale?
I’ve proven myself to be a match for all of your biggest names, but I’ve never overstayed my welcome. I’m here for as long as I’m interesting and that’s it. I’m a chameleon. Last time I was here I raged against the machine, before that I was recovering from my demons, before that I was a poet. I change myself with the times, I don’t drive myself into the ground. Any incarnation of me is more interesting than the vast majority of other characters.
Serra: So you’ll drop the whole ‘WZCW is out to get me’ thing?
As long as they’re not still out to get me, yes. But if you are still out to get me, then it’s simple. I will turn up, I will tell the shareholders what the problem is and I will make sure that you pay for what you’ve done to keep me down.
Serra: What about your demons, still kept away?
My redemption was for me. Not for you. If you want to exploit that again, I’m happy to be exploited, because whoever I am, you need me.
Serra: So whoever you are, we need you? Because when you were the poet guy, you were fighting a guy in a chicken costume.
Without me, you’re
A crayon set with no Black
Father Christmas with no sack
A liquor bar with no cognac
A lunch box with no sack
Without me, you’re
A honeypot with no bees
A sandwich with no cheese
A seaside with no breeze
A padlock with no keys.
Without me, you’re
The Beatles with no Ringo
A Cruise Ship with no Bingo
Australia with no Dingo
UKIP with no Jingo
Without me, you’re
A tree with no leaves
Ali Baba with no thieves
A wizard with no sleeves
A church roof with no eaves
Without me, you’re
A wrestler with no ring
The Addams Family with no Thing
Frank Sinatra with no swing
A pack of cards with no king
Without me you’re
A car with no wheels
Noel Edmonds with no deals
The US Navy with no SEALS
Sentimentality with no feels
Without me you’re
A gin with no tonic
Dr Dre with no chronic
A spa weekend with no colonic
Alanis Morrisette with no Ironic
But with me around, you’re
The World Cup with less diving
Saudi Arabia with women driving
A wrestling company surviving
With ratings numbers thriving
And that’s why you need me.
Serra: Right, you’ve made your point.
Black: No, I haven’t. I never could because you’ll never get it. I am incredible, but I also bring the best out in people. Who’s the best champion of the last couple of years?
Serra: Justin Cooper, probably, though it pains me to say it.
Black: Well, he’s second, to me, but yeah I guess he’ll do. Justin Cooper hung and fought with me and it made him. Then I left and what did he do? He floundered incapable of bringing the same prestige without me.
Serra: Not entirely how I remember it. Next you’ll be saying you made Tyrone Blades.
Black: Well of course I will. Because I did.
Serra: You’re ridiculous.
Black: No, you are. Tyrone is the most likely winner of the Lethal Lottery if you don’t put me in it. Tyrone had a match for the ages before that. Tyrone’s entire character is an appropriation of mine. I didn’t make Ty Burna, he was still only new when we first hooked up, but I made Tyrone Blades.
Becky was incredulous.
Serra: So say I do give you a number, who do you want to make into a star now?
Serra: Kagura the WZCW Heavyweight Champion?
Black: Kagura, the woman with it all who’s obviously gonna lose it.
Serra: I think you’re literally insane. But, I’ve got a gap in my roster that I need filling. So you come in, you do a job and we can talk business.
Black: WZCW won’t regret it.
Serra: They did the last three times.
The only thing that’s ever really made Garth Black happy is wrestling. Whenever life is getting him down he can take it and he can suplex it. Running at the ropes and you bounce right back. The same thing isn’t really true in any other aspect of life.
Black had felt jaded for a long time, and had been at something of a crossroad. Last night he returned to his spiritual home, the WZCW and reached the final four of the Lethal Lottery. This was obviously a desirable outcome, but in many ways his plan now left him with something to decide.
Should he return full time, and fulfil his ambitions to be one of the sport’s greatest ever workers. Or should he leave it now and decide upon how to progress from here later. He had spent some time training a new wrestler, someone with a similar attitude to him and wider aspirations.
Jezebel Jones had given him something of a new life, but he was cautious that he didn’t want to live vicariously through her successes. He remembered how Daddy Mack hadn’t really appeared with him throughout the process of his early days and he appreciated having the limelight to himself. He vowed to himself that he wouldn’t force Jezebel to be his wingman or his mouthpiece. But the process of training her had reignited his own fire, so he’d let her get better.
This presented him with the dichotomy he found himself in. Did he go back to Japan, did he go forward to WZCW and try and make something of himself. It’s difficult to understand where to go if you don’t have an ambition. What was the end game. He’d already proven he was still at the peak of the business with his strong showing in the previous evening’s battle royal, but what next?
He decided that the only way his desire could be satiated would be if he could do something that had never been done before. But in order to do that, he’d have to prove that he still belonged on top. There had been a tide change since Black’s last run ended. Cooper had gone, Constantine was going and the last major name he beat, Tyrone Blades, had now found himself in the main event.
Black knew that though he probably deserved another shot at the main title, he wasn’t going to get it immediately. Which is when it hit him. Black would have to fight the only remaining Champion that had reigned in his absence. Kagura. He had a lot to say about Kagura – she had been given the King for a Day briefcase.
Whilst it took Black years to prove his worth and to prove he was the best at everything before he even got a hint at taking the WZCW title from out of the grip of Mikey Stormrage’s greasy fingers, Kagura had the opportunity to just walk up to the champion and take it, like the click of a finger.
This meant that though he held the country of her origin in very high regard – he’d spent a lot of time there in his absence from WZCW – he could not respect a competitor who had managed to fluke their way to the top, without paying the dues and earning the respect of it all.
Kagura is struggling to fit in, whereas Black went to her country and found it an absolute doddle. The thing is, it seems to me like she’s a complainer. Garth Black is a man of action, Kagura is a woman of moans. I went to her country and everyone loved me. She went to the west and has struggled to do anything.
Kagura is weak and pathetic, and Black intended to show that not only did she not really belong in the western world, she didn’t really belong at the top of the wrestling card either.
Fighting a woman was something he had rarely had to do, but something that he felt would present an interesting and fresh challenge to his career. His sights were set and it was time to make an impact. He would challenge Kagura at Kingdom Come.
Excerpts from the travel diary of Garth Black and his adventures in Japan
www.stealcaygeforums.com message board.
Thread: Garth Black for hall of fame?
ShadyWolf 787: He’s just not good enough. The fact of the matter drives me insane. He had one decent run out of like four attempts. People only say this because he did one decent promo once. He was the champ, but so what there’s lots of other people who have done it too.
The hall of fame should be for people who have made a difference in the company or been the first to do something. If he wants a legacy, he needs to come back and he needs to try to appreciate that to have a hall of fame career you need to be a trend setter and need to be at the top of your game and be the first to do something ever.
BrooderShelter Then shouldn’t Kagura go in? First female champ.
ShadyWolf 787: Would be more deserving in my book.
BrooderShelter Yeah Yeah in my book too.
Stratum In my opinion only wrestlers from the 1950s should go in.
WelshBrazilian 45 Your fcae should go in the hal OF faMe.
BrooderShelter Now that was a blast from the past.
Aramco To me, he’s got to come back to prove he can have a hall of fame career. And not just a one off at the Lethal Lottery. I’ve always been a huge advocate of his, and I think he has the ability, but he needs to show that he can reach the top layers like that.
I think Kagura is the ideal opponent. If he hangs with her, and I see no reason for him not to, he will be proving that he is still at that tier. I want to see him in the Gold Rush, but I think it’d be interesting to see the dichotomy of him being King for a Day and then refusing to use it or something.
Could be very interesting indeed.
8:00am – Wake Up
8:30am – Breakfast
9:00am – HIIT session in gym, followed by weight training and warm down.
10:00am – Watch all recent Kagura matches and try to create strategy for fight this evening.
11:00am – Discuss strategy with Jezebel Jones and Daddy Mack. Take their input, try to pick apart the minutae of Kagura’s actions.
12:00pm Collect ring attire from seamstress.
12:05pm Shine shoes
12:30pm – Light Lunch. Something with sushi and seaweed to get in the zone.
1:00pm – Press interviews. Points to get across – relative inferiority of the WZCW product in my absence (don’t bury company – you promised Becky), your lack of respect for winning the title through KFAD, consider planting seeds of being more of a crowd pleaser in the future (gauge responses).
2:30pm – Fan Access day. Make sure to try and get charities over, people want to hear about that stuff. Sign cleavage of 45+ year old woman. Collect bet winnings for doing so.
4:00pm – Shower, tape fists, wear ring attire.
4:45pm – Talk to commentators, feed facts about what I’ve been doing in my absence.
5:00pm – Preshow starts, quick interview with panel to be conducted whilst it is running.
6:00pm – Find out running order. Ask to be later in the card. Have request rebuffed.
7:00pm – Preshow ends, prepare for match.
Some point before 10:00pm – win match, shake Kagura’s hand (then irish whip? Gauge crowd)
11:00pm – Party time
11:01pm – Fall asleep with beer on sofa
The night of the match, and Garth Black is readying himself and looking at the mirror. Alone with his thoughts, he is bobbing on his legs and rubbing his face. He is very clearly in the zone before the match.
This is it, time to put the money where the mouth is, I’ve got to show I am still a winner.
He starts to punch his knuckles into each other.
This is my time. This is my opportunity to do everything I said I was ever going to do.
Kagura can’t beat me. Kagura won’t beat me. Kagura isn’t gonna beat me. Cos why?
He starts to nod too as he speaks.
I’m faster, I’m clever I’m stronger.
Dodge the mist, use a fist.
Dodge the Dances, Take my Chances.
He’s really bobbing now.
One step at a time, gonna win, win the match and then move on to greater things.
Nobody’s ever beat me one on one at Kingdom Come
Grow my streak, Grow the legacy.
Show I belong at the top
He’s getting louder, as he gears himself up.
LET’S DO THIS THING
He lets out a primal scream as the dull sound of his music can be heard. He kicks through the door and heads to the ring.
WrestleZone Tournament, 2015
Kagura’s loss at Meltdown 151 had been a tough one to swallow. She had been focused and driven. She and Callie seemed to be in synch as well. But their victory just wasn’t meant to be. She had just felt off her game that night. To make matters worse, Garth Black had appeared on the ramp after the match. He didn’t try to attack her this time, but the look in his eye made her angry. He had looked so disappointed. Like she wasn’t worth the effort. Ever since Ascension 126, when their match had been announced, he had done everything that he could to berate her, cut her down, and get inside her head. And it had worked.
She still had a cut on the back of her head from the chair shot that he had given her at Meltdown 150. He had called her weak. Worthless. And pathetic. And the worst part of it all, was that he had been right.
Kagura wouldn’t have ever admitted this, but it had taken her weeks to level her senses enough for her to see through Garth’s deception. He wanted her to get angry. Lose her cool. Become furious enough to completely lose her senses. So by the time Kingdom Come rolled around, he’d have the advantage. He was like a spider that had bitten her, and injected his venom into her system. Retreating into the shadows, he was waiting for the paralysis to take hold. And then, once she was incapacitated, he’d have her right where he wanted her. On her back and staring up at the lights, as the referee counted to three.
She didn’t have anyone around to talk to about these problems. Derrick was gone. And she had no other allies due to her inability to speak or enunciate English properly. She had tried to integrate herself into Eve Taylor’s little ragtag group of friends, and her conversations had just felt so forced and unnatural. There was no trust. No sense of comfort. Just emptiness. Most of the time, she spent her time pacing up and down her hotel room, and then talking to the wall, all while trying to make sense of it all.
And as long as Kagura doubted herself, there was no way she was going to be able to defeat Garth Black. Just thinking about it barely helped. Because every time she tried to rationalize the actions of her opponent, and what countermeasures to take, it just dug her a little bit further into the hole she found herself in.
‘Garth Black is a genius. I’ll admit it. And I am an enormous fool, because it took me this long to finally figure him out. I thought this was going to be a routine match at Kingdom Come, but he’s had me dancing by his threads like a puppet since the very beginning. He saw though my confident facade. All my boasting. All my victory vows. All it’s done is create self-doubt in my mind every time. He’s always under my skin. I… don’t know what it’s going to take to beat this guy.’
She could go to Barcelona with a ‘gives no fucks’ attitude, but the problem was that really wasn’t in her nature. She was a completely different person than he was. Competitive in mind; humble in spirit. Black on the other hand was just a manipulative asshole. That was it. Kagura wasn’t going to change a thing about the way she wrestled once the time came. She decided to go to Spain, and just try her best. That’s all she could do at this point. Black was one of those people that wasn’t going to be humble in loss. He wasn’t going to respect her no matter what she did. If competitors like Eve Taylor, Tyrone Blades, and Batti Otaku could come to respect her after trading fists, then maybe he’d stop taking her so lightly.
Though, she had completely underestimated him too…
And there so was the battle line. One man was going to go in thinking that his opponent was trash. While one woman was going to go in half believing him. Kagura just needed to get the fuck over it. The winner of this match would be in a prime position to be the next #1 contender after Kingdom Come. And she didn’t want to fall back down the card after all the hard work she had done to claw her way to the top of the mountain.
There was only one thing that she was looking forward to between now and Kingdom Come, and that was with her reunion with Derrick. She hadn’t been prepared to travel without his advice and moral support, and Garth Black had been the absolute worst opponent for her. Derrick’s touch was like magic. He knew exactly how to excite her. His warmth was like a wildfire that raged, and spread throughout her entire body. When he held her, all her anxiety, fears, and doubt just disappeared. He gave her purpose. Something to fight for. Without him by her side, she just felt such emptiness. Like a dog whose owner had died, and never come home.
She was so anxious, that she began counting down the days to their reunion. Then the hours. Then the seconds. She immediately perked up as soon as her phone rang.
It was time…
Derrick had flown into Barcelona the night before the PPV. This little vacation of his had been preapproved months ago by his boss. He wanted to see Kagura compete at the PPV of course, but there was something else that he just had to do while he was here. Unbeknownst to her, he was planning to do something that would change both of their lives.
He paid the cabbie to take him straight to her hotel. She was already in the lobby waiting on him. As soon as their eyes met, Kagura had bolted from the chair, and ran into his arms. He felt like a soldier of war coming home after months on the battlefield, and that Kagura was his bride. To her, he supposed that it may have feel like the opposite. He shuddered, suddenly having pictured himself as a bride. His face met hers, and they shared a long and deep kiss that felt like an eternity of bliss.
Derrick was the first to break away. He smiled, “Meeting in person sure beats talking on the phone, yeah?”
Kagura nodded, “I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment forever. It’s been so rough without you here, dear.”
Derrick agreed, “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. Do you want to get something to eat? You can tell me all about your match tomorrow.”
Kagura smiled, taking him up on the offer. Derrick had been talking to her pretty often on the phone when he could. Shared late night texts with her that were filled with frustration and angst. What he was sure that a lot of people in WZCW were not aware of was that Kagura still carried a lot of social anxiety left over from that whole fiasco with the book. Even if she could communicate to a native English speaker, it still would have been difficult. The girl was fiercely competitive, and didn’t like to lose. That’s what drove her. Of course she could, and would, lash out if poked hard enough. Her problem was that she just had too much humility for her own good. The culture of the West was just too egocentric and individualistic. A lot of wrestlers in WZCW were a bunch of Type A personalities that didn’t give a shit about anyone. Even after almost four years, it wasn’t a place that Kagura was ready to navigate alone.
And this Black guy; what a complete fuckwad he was. He used the fact that she was a foreigner that didn’t know the culture, and used it against her. He wasn’t looking for a fair fight at Kingdom Come. He was looking for a massacre. And he told her that that only way she was going to beat him was to fight him with everything that she had. Fight dirty if she could. The mist she used was a desperation maneuver only, but he urged her to try and hit it early and then choke Black out. Derrick had no clue why she was being contracted to fight such a man. But even so, he praised her for doing so well on her own. And regardless if she won or lost tomorrow, he wasn’t going to think any less of her. He was there as moral support. So that even if she faltered, she could look out and see him in the front row cheering her on. Perhaps that would give her the strength that she needed to keep fighting. To push a little harder. And to last a little longer. It only took three seconds to win after all. That’s all the time she needed.
The food at the restaurant was fantastic. Derrick was trying the paella, while she was tasting the esqueixada. There were many different local cuisines that he had never tried. He had explained that his job had been going well, and he’d be finished with his research by the end of the year. Kagura insisted that he travel with her again, but he had to plan for that. He wanted to; though. He missed it. The reason why he left was to pursue a dream, just like she was doing. He had seen her climb to the top of the mountain once, and he knew that she’d be able to do it again. But he had another reason for leaving too. He pulled something out of his pocket, and placed it in his lap where she couldn’t see.
“Kagura,” he said, turning towards her.
“It was incredibly difficult for me to go back to Japan when I did. But I knew you’d understand what I was trying to do, and I’m grateful for that. Every moment that I’ve spent with you these past three years has been wonderful. Throughout the good and the bad. And I’ve seen you grow into such a wonderful person. When I first met you, you reminded me of a fledgling duckling. You had just moved to the States to train under Gozaburo, and hadn’t seen anything outside Japan. You hadn’t even been on an airplane but a few times since then. I got to know you though unfortunate circumstances, but through the adventures we had, I had a lot of fun. And now you grown into such a beautiful swan; and a fierce one too.”
He was being series too. He had seen a swan try to peck the crap out of a guy down by the pier the other day. Swans were no fucking joke. Meanwhile, Kagura was just staring at him rather perplexed. She had no clue what was going on, or why he was suddenly going on like this. He continued his speech.
“Leaving you when I did wasn’t easy. You are my everything, Kagura. Life isn’t fun without you around. I’ve realized that now. I want us to be together, always. So I’m going to offer you something that will allow us to still be together in spirit, even when we’re apart. Because I don’t ever want you to be alone ever again.”
He stood up from his chair, and suddenly kneeled down on one knee. He took what was on his lap, which turned out to be a small velvet box, and opened it. Her eyes widened. Was this really happening right now? There was an engagement ring inside! It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
“Last time we travelled to Japan, your grandfather and I talked, and I asked him for permission to give this to you. Marry me, Kagura.”
She was shocked! So much so that she froze on the spot. By that time, all the eyes in the restaurant were on them. She was starting to panic. But Derrick; he looked so calm, and focused, and determined! He had a big smile on his face, and his eyes beheld her as the most precious thing in the world. Suddenly, in an instant, all her fear just melted away. Her anxiety was gone. And she returned his smile. Her body just came to life with all this hidden energy. Her answer was natural…
“Yes! Yes! Dear kami yes!”
Derrick got to his feet and kissed her. Several people in the restaurant had given them an ovation. This was a celebration! He took the ring from the box and slipped it onto her finger. It was a perfect fit. She turned her hand and looked at it. It had two diamonds in the center, and the band was white gold. It was wonderful. This must have costed him a fortune! She looked at him slightly bewildered, as her brain began to connect the dots between his absence, his new job, and the ring on her finger. But still, it had been his decision to make. She would have married him even if he had presented her with an empty box. She was honestly surprised it had taken him so long to pop the question. But she had been so elated that he had.
It was amazing what a little ring could do. It represented a bond between two people, and the unspeakable strength that it could produce. Kagura wasn’t alone anymore. She had something concrete to fight for now. She felt like Thanos wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, and Derrick was the stones. The world heavyweight title was her Lady Death. Garth Black was everything that stood in her way.
She had nothing to fear from him anymore…
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