We fade into a dark scene with a glowing white orb. The camera focuses to reveal a single light fixture, an Edison light bulb with a steel cage around it. The camera follows the path of the light as it shines down into the dark room. Sitting on a metal folding chair in the center of a darkened MMA gym is a muscular bald man in a white rash guard. The walls of the room are line with mirrors, fight posters, and the words “Champions Advantage.” The man hunched forward in his seat; his gloved hands slung across his lap. He looks at his hands and flexes his fingers opened and closed as he talks without looking directly at the camera. He remains in his chair for the entire scene.
Man: Can a person be in love with two people at the same time? Is the heart capable of producing that much emotion? It’s been tried before, by most people at some point in their lives. It usually ends poorly. Don’t get me wrong, it feels amazing at first. Your heart will fill full for the first time in as long as you can remember but being pulled in two separate directions is unsustainable. At a certain point, you have to make a decision. One or the other. You CAN fight one battle here or one battle over there, but you CAN’T do both at the same time. You have to sacrifice one for the other. Your old life or your new one. To fight a battle on two fronts at the same time, is to lose the battle on both.
Man: There was a woman that loved me once. She wasn’t a princess or a beauty queen, but she was my person. She was good to me, even when I didn’t deserve it. Most people don’t believe in love at first sight, but that’s the way it was for me. Without saying a word, she had me. The way she looked at me, like lightning striking my lungs. They way her hair bounced when she ran. The way she ate her food. You have probably felt it too in some part of your life. Minding your own business, just trying to get by, and then BOOM! You get struck, and instantly, you know that you will do very… very stupid things for her.
Man: You’ve kept yourself together for this far. Your life is at the point where you are ready to let people in, and then this new passion shows up and knocks you completely off base. It gives you the strength, courage, and foolishness to put yourself in dangerous situations. You’d sacrifice a piece of yourself to watch this new fire grow. And you’d bleed to protect it. But why? Is it animal instinct? Is it bad television? It’s the best and worst thing you can do with your life, because inside, it’s pure chaos. You have to live knowing that, at any moment, that the dream could be over, and you’ll be left wondering if any of it was real. But you’ve come too far now. You have to see it through to the end.
Man: I loved my wife. I love professional wrestling.
Man: The first phase of new love is ‘Euphoria’. It’s pure happiness. Food tastes better. Music sounds better. It’s biological. It’s chemical. It’s a new high. And it starts to consume you. All of your energy, creativity, and time are going into this new project and your world redefines itself. You lose sleep and obsess over when you can get your next high and how much longer you can continue on with it. The thought of losing this opportunity is unbearable. It’s like, for the first time in your life, you’ve found something real and true and you’ve never been more sure of anything. You feel personal growth, but those on the outside, the ones who knew you before, think you look stupid and it’s making them sick.
Man: Wrestling means everything to me. It IS my life now.
Man: Phase two is ‘Endangerment’. Now that you’ve committed to the new ‘you’, you’ve made yourself extremely vulnerable. The normal routines you’ve grown comfortable with are instantly fractured and every angle you try from this point forward is something new. There’s no guarantee that anything is going to work out, so what do you do? Do you pace yourself and ease into your new life? No. You do the opposite. You jump right in, often destroying any connection to your old life. No turning back now, you’ve made sure of it. You tell yourself that the permanence of your decisions are good for your anxiety. That by lowering your defenses and loosening up your personal boundaries. That you are becoming a better person. But all you’ve done is change your needs and desires with that of your object of affection. You aren’t even a complete person anymore. You’re part of something bigger and riskier than just yourself. It’s scary, isn’t it? Walking the tightrope with no safety net. You get halfway to where you intend to be, and that’s when you give voice to your insecurities. What if you fail? What if it doesn’t work out? What if this was all a huge mistake and you’ve ruined any chance of going back to your old life? It’s only now that you realize, you’ve been in denial. Denial of how dangerous a new passion can be. On a long enough timeline, either by death or separation, every relationship ends.
Man: This business saved my life. I owe it so much.
Man: The final stage of new love is ‘Exhaustion’. With all of the chemical changes and fears going on inside of you, it is no wonder you feel so exhausted. You think once the probation period is over that you’ll be able to get some rest. You think that comfort is just over the next hill. But it’s not true. It’s an everyday effort. The best thing you can do is stop. But you won’t. You’ll take on any obstacle because the strong foundation you’ve built with your passion gives you courage. It gives you confidence that you have something to fall back on if you fail. But you don’t. Your new passion is built on a lie. On a fantastic version of reality. And now, you’re tired. You’re unhealthy. But you insist that you’re happy because you’ve made it through the challenges and arrived at the other side. Passion doesn’t have a finish line. The bond doesn’t break. It changes forms. It can be dark at times, but it doesn’t go away. It’s a tattoo on your soul and the failed passions of your past forge the person that you become tomorrow.
Man: My wife died from cancer. I didn’t think I’d ever love again. But I was wrong.
The man removes his glove on his left hand to reveal tattoos across his knuckles. He flexes his fingers open and closed before revealing the letters. They read ‘W’, ‘I’, ‘F’, ‘E’
Man: I found a new love. It’s in this ring. It’s in the people I work with. It’s in this place and others like it. It’s in each of you at home, listening to me right now. From deep within my soul, I love Professional Wrestling. And this amazing company, PRIME Wrestling, has allowed a lucky few of us to live out our dreams here, in front of the world. At any moment it can be over. But it’s real. I feel it, and you know you feel it too.
Man: My name is… ‘The Bull of the North’, Buster Gloves. I’m a professional wrestler for PRIME Wrestling. I come bearing a message. The glory of championships will make you feel higher than any drug, than any love. Be careful with it.
Buster taps on each tattooed knuckle, one at a time, as he delivers his final remark.
Buster Gloves: Glory is temporary, but Wrestling… Is… For…Ever.
Buster slowly looks up to make eye contact with the camera as we fade to black.