Building A Legacy: Past, Present, Future Apr 7, 2019 22:21:04 GMT -5
Post by Teo Blaze on Apr 7, 2019 22:21:04 GMT -5
“If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right”
As the scene slowly but surely fades into view, viewers may be caught off guard by what they see. The sight that greets them is one that is at once wholly familiar and yet something that rarely makes an appearance on WCF Television. A long, immaculately cleaned hallway with a bright red carpet going down one side. But what catches the eye the most is the wall of the hallway, upon which sits a series of framed pictures in elaborate golden frames. Every one a portrait of a familiar WCF superstar, each one a veritable household name. Corey Black, Torture, Gravedigger, Odin Balfore, each portrait a representation of excellence, and each labelled clearly with a small golden plaque listing the name and accomplishments of each man therein.
It is the WCF Hall of Fame, and the enshrined portraits celebrate years of what can only be described as excellence. As the camera slowly pans along the wall, the sound of majestic music can be heard slowly fading in, each portrait that comes into view bringing the music to an ever rising crescendo.
But as the camera reaches the latest inductee, passing Seth Lerch’s portrait, something peculiar enters the frame. There is a bright yellow piece of caution tape stretched along the wall, with the words “Under construction” placed across it in blocky black letters. Behind the bright yellow there are numerous portraits representing faces from WCF’s more recent years.
Ice Beckman...Dune...Scarecrow...John Rabid...Stephen Singh....Even Jay Price is there behind a cracked frame with Seth’s signature in Sharpee scrawled near the point of impact. Finally, however, the frame slowly comes to a stop in front of a framed portrait of Teo Blaze. He stands, staring happily up towards a bright light, the People’s Championship over one shoulder and the Television Championship over the other- around his waist is the Infinity title.
The camera lingers on the portrait for a moment...but then something peculiar happens.
The figure of Teo turns directly towards the camera from within the portrait, his face breaking into a genuine smile as he peers over the red lenses.
Teo Blaze: Ladies and gentlemen, the key word I want to share with you today is “legacy”.
Teo smiles and looks towards the championships that sit on his person, regarding each with a look a parent might give to their child, a mix of pride and joy at seeing them.
Teo Blaze: Now before I address my two opponents for the week, I want to take a brief moment to address the elephant in the room. There has been talk on social media, news programs, hell, I’ve heard whispers in the WCF locker room that maybe the time has come that I should drop this Television Championship. That I’ve outgrown the division, that my dominance is starting to hurt it. That even though I was declared the Television Champion of 2018 with a bullet, that after five months that my work is done.
And truth be told, if that day ever comes when these doors open up and the fans call for my portrait to be in this hall, I wouldn’t be surprised if the induction speech talks about all I’ve done for this championship, how I’ve fought tooth and nail against all comers as though it were the world title itself.
But here’s the thing.
Teo slowly reaches up to push the glasses back up the bridge of his nose as his gaze wanders to the other portraits to his left. He seems to consider the image for a second before turning back to the camera.
Teo Blaze: The only reason that I’ve been able to elevate this championship the way I have is simply because for me..? Losing has never been an option.
A potential outcome, sure, and I don’t doubt that sooner or later, that someone will have just the right ingredients on the right night to finally take this glorious prize from me, to step up to the plate and follow the work I have done for months on its behalf.
But for me to simply lay down and throw up my hands? To walk to that ring and hand over this prize like some consolation trophy? To put it in the hands of someone as if to say “good enough”?
That would be spitting in the face of every man, woman, and child who ever helped me reach the heights I have, who ever believed in me, who ever took anything that I said to heart, who heard my words and dared to feel something, to let my passion inflame their hearts, to cast aside reason and speak in pure and undriven desire, desire to succeed, to win! To hold up a prize that so many had told them they could never hold to break records that were never thought to be breakable!
As Teo speaks, his palm slams against the barrier of the portrait, almost seeming to reach through into the hall. He shakes his head, his breathing heavy, his brow lowered into a look of passionate emotion. He shakes his head, and then looks down at the Infinity Championship. He looks to the walls of the hall of fame to his left and right, and a moment of longing flashes across his face, only for an instant. Then he raises his head, and with a deep breath pats the Infinity Championship around his waist.
Teo Blaze: One day.
With that, he holds up the fingers of his left hand, and lets out an audible snap. In an instant the hall has vanished, and without even so much as a motion, Teo stands in a new area. A dingy training gym, each and every piece of equipment showing the wear and tear of constant use. The flashing flourescent lights making every spot of dirt, every sweat stained surface stand out that much more. Teo stares for a moment at the equipment, then turns towards the camera with a smile.
Teo Blaze: But if you want to find my legacy, if you want to know how I have reached the heights I have?
Look no further.
And now, at last, I come to not one, but two opponents this week. Two men who have thrown down a gauntlet to me that quite frankly...may have been hasty.
For all of James Wolf’s aggression, for all of his bluster, nobody can deny that he is coming off one of the most painful losses in the history of the sport, a match that should have raised his stock instantly! Pushed him beyond the threshold of failure that time and again he has been associated with!
Yet any man, woman, or child walking this earth will tell you that when it came down to it, when those chips were down against Odin Balfore and Mikey X? All that James wolf amounted to was a prop. A lifeless sack that Odin literally picked up and hit X with to win yet another championship.
You see, James, here’s the thing that you need to remember.
At Kindgom Come? You did better than anyone expected, I won’t challenge that.
But doing better than people expect is miles away from what it takes to beat me. I do not reward people for doing “good enough”, hell, I have punished people for doing “amazing”! My reign with this championship has been marked by dominance and prestige to the point where people have declared that the only way this reign ends is with my permission!
And you know what James? You have not earned my permission, and as far as I’m concerned, you have not earned my respect.
When you called me out this week, coming off of a loss, did you look yourself in the mirror and ask where it went wrong? What held you back? What kept you from pushing through despite putting forth as much effort as you possibly could?
You turned your sights towards a different prize, you told yourself that it wasn’t your fault that you lost, you continued believing that you were the hottest commodity in the wrestling world. Because James Wolf, that is what defines your legacy.
You see all of these shining prizes and time and time again you tell yourself that you’re going to walk through those ropes and walk back out with a shiny gold prize, because you’re James Wolf, and you’re awesome.
Teo shakes his head, looking down at his feet as his expression slowly changes, the contempt in his voice becoming that much more apparent with every word, each syllable tinged with venomous intent.
Teo Blaze: But James, that is not how this works. You do not get to define your legacy- the way that you are remembered will be etched in history by those who witnessed your deeds, your victories, and your failures. Time will look upon you and expose every weakness, every flaw, every damned ego-driven embarrassment! Whether to Odin Balfore or to Teo Blaze, the story of James Wolf will be a tragedy to rival the most bitter disappointments in WCF history!
They will look upon you with pity, and they will regard you with embarrassment, as a man too damned stupid to see that he let ego squander any potential he had, that he let greed drive him into one disastrous failure after another!
Because James Wolf, you only see what you want. You look at this prize and you think of yourself as Television Champion, but you don’t give one damn what it means to hold this prize! What it is to have your back forced against the wall by each and every hotshot who thinks that he has what it takes to make a name off of you!
When you challenged me for this championship, you talked about sending me on to greater things, of forcing me to challenge for the World Championship.
And in doing so..? You betrayed just how little of a damn you give about this prize. You see it as a burden, as a chore, as something that holds me back.
Teo’s face turns into a grin of sheer malice, the crooked smile on his face seeming for all the world as though he has just imagined the punchline to a cruel joke.
Teo Blaze: But James...this belt has never held me back. This belt..? It has only made me better.
With every hungry shark that has thought they smelled blood in the water, with every vicious challenger that I have turned away, I have faced adversity and challenge like you could only dream, I have forced my way to victories that would have been seen as impossible!
This championship is no burden, and the simple fact is the reason I have held it so long is because I realize just how easily it can slip away! That any man on any week has what it takes to carry it away!
That thought...that knowledge...it drives me James, it reminds me each and every week that I have to be better. That I have to push myself past the limits that so many saw for me. That anyone thinks that I am going to let this championship go like some kind of consolation prize..?
Teo’s face curls into a twisted expression, one that looks as though he has just been challenged, and his head slowly cocks to the side.
Teo Blaze: That drives me even further. Knowing that people are waiting, anticipating my fall, that they are expecting it any day.
That thought only adds fuel to the fire that burns in my heart.
James Wolf! The way you demand championships even after squandering the opportunities betrays just how little you care for the very things you covet! And that is why I cannot allow you to be the one to take this championship! I will not let you or Scott Slayer destroy what I have created!
Teo is practically screaming the words as he stares, but he seems to pause on the last few words, breathing heavily as he slowly collects himself.
Teo Blaze: Scott Slayer… Now there’s a name that I didn’t think I would hear again. No matter how many times I put him away, no matter how many times I embarrass him in front of the world, on Slam, in singles matches, even in tag team matches with that Kennedy Matthews he spent so many years under the boot of...he just keeps coming back. I’ll give him this...he’s persistent. Kind of like a rash...or a virus.
But the simple fact is that Scott Slayer believes that he has what it takes to beat me, even though he was annihilated at Kingdom Come by Samuel McPherson, the same Samuel McPherson who I have time and again turned away. Now I would never begrudge anyone losing to the Animal, whose natural talents go without saying...but it does prove something about dear Scott, doesn’t it?
He’s not ready.
He may have improved since the last time I beat him, and there’s room for him to improve further...but Scott Slayer is not the man to end what I have started any more than James Wolf is. Scott is a man without direction, without hope, a man who on his best day has to rely on the failure of others.
Scott Slayer doesn’t beat people, people just lose to him.
And if you don’t know the difference, you haven’t been paying attention to Scott Slayer.
But Scott Slayer..? He doesn’t listen to reason. No matter how many losses, no matter how many times he is left in the ring, carried to the back by medics, staring up at the lights as the sound of laughter echoes around him, he refuses to believe that he is anything except a future world champion.
He’s determined, I have to give him that...but determination and delusional stupidity look awfully similar in practice.
But it doesn’t matter. Whether determined, deluded, or just stupid, Scott Slayer is in for yet another reminder of his own limitations this week.
The venom in Teo’s voice slowly begins to fade as he looks up at the flourescent lights, and with a deep breath, the original expression returns to his face.
Teo Blaze: The word for this week is legacy. There are those who have said that my legacy is secure, that I will go down as one of the greatest to hold this belt no matter what happens.
But as far as I’m concerned, my legacy is many things, but above all it is of a fighting champion. And I’m going to give both Scott Slayer and James Wolf the fight of their lives at Slam.
And it is a fight that neither of them is ready for.
Teo smiles as he turns and looks out the window at the shining sun, his face lost in thought as he prepares once again for the task that lies ahead of him.