Rose stood on the loading docks at Caesars Superdome, her hands tucked into her pants. She spun around, a bandage plastered across her forehead. A smile crept across her face as she noticed the camera approaching her.
You made me bleed, Tom. Congratulations. These past two months have all been leading up to this moment. Stepping foot in that ring, in a match as barbaric as a First Blood match, and coming out of it on the other side… I can’t even begin to describe how I feel. The adrenaline of walking down that aisle, knowing that I gave you everything you could handle and then some and that it took everything you had just to make me bleed. Not to pin me, Tom, but to make me bleed. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back. Because you’ve unleashed something in me.
Her feet navigate the concrete-laden area as she moves around.
This is not a setback. It is simply the first step. I don’t feel any disappointment because I went up against a legend in the ring and proved myself. There is not a trace of anger in me because you are a former Intense Champion, someone who defeated Larry Tact, Balaam, Mephisto, and Gamble. How could I be mad at myself about that?
You know how to put on clinics, and I just received valuable education. I learned more in that one match than I could ever learn in a year of training. What I feel is pride. Pride of what I accomplished because I know Tom sees me differently now than when we started this match. He may not admit it, but I know he recognizes it.
She smiled at the camera and shook her head.
So, thank you, Tom. Thank you for the lessons you have taught me. I underestimated you. I allowed you to wear your stupid mask in a First Blood match, and it came back to haunt me. However, I stood there and battled you, extracting parts of you that you will never regain. This is not a setback. You have unleashed something within me, and I eagerly await the next battle. It may not be against you, but it will be soon, and I am filled with anticipation.
Tom, you may have taken my blood, but you didn’t take my heart. It’s still beating as strong as ever. I have four weeks to mend, heal, train, and prepare. Because when ReVival 41 comes to Buffalo, I’ll be ready for my next match. I don’t care who it is. I don’t care who Lindsay wants to throw at me, or what the stipulation may be. Just set it up, and I’ll knock it down. I’ll be fully ready for anything that anyone brings.
She turned and started to walk away, but then stopped. She glanced back at the camera.
And Tom? My condolences. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Take time with your family and come back when you’re ready. The next time we step foot in the ring, you will see a different Rose.
She reached down and picked up the chain, coated in Tom’s blood.
A very different Rose.
The sound as she dropped the chain echoes, followed by the clicks of her shoes against the concrete as she walked away.