Private: Shawn Warstein
Athazagoraphobia is an intense or irrational fear of being forgotten, or of forgetting someone or something. It may also include a fear of being ignored or replaced.
Hood over his head, Shawn stands in front of a painted brick wall. There isn’t anything about it that makes it special. Nothing more that a clean background that contrasts to the black hoodie he is wearing. Pacing back and forth Shawn looks up towards the sky and then stops and looks at the camera. Simply nodding his head and clearing his throat.
“I knew it. You’re just like the rest of them.”
“Come back. I won’t hurt you again.”
“Leave me just like everyone else.”
“I can’t go on without you.”
All of them are simply cries for help. From the wounded, the liar, the realist and the lonely. Shattered pieces from a broken man, held together with the hopes and promises of a better tomorrow. Gasping for a breath, alone in an ocean without a paddle.
I have never allowed doubt to push me. It was never something that I allowed to creep into my head and poison the well. This however…
This was different. It wasn’t the doubting of my own abilities, or shaking of my faith. This was a different beast altogether. I have never watched so many mindless people drone on and on about nothing. Watching all of them shove and push their way to the front only to be turned away.
What none of them actually realize, is if they looked down, they hadn’t moved. The phrase a rising tide lifts all boats is one that we have all heard. It’s also unequivocally false in the sense that it’s being used.
If Buster and I go out there and kill it. I’m talking about a five star match, people in tears by the end of it. Is it really going to raise everyone? Will Youngblood raise his game for his match? Will anyone for that fact? No. Nobody will care because this is a solitary environment.
Groups of people who all claim that they are equal have divides. Best friends have divides. There are the Haves. And the Have Nots.
At Ultraviolence I will firmly place myself in the Haves
Eight Weeks Ago
“Still nothing?” The ever calming voice of Kasey succinctly asked as I sat across from her staring off into the void.
I quickly shake my head and focus on her once again. It’s not every day that the two of us are dressed up. She’s in a long flowing dress with a shawl hanging over her shoulders. Me? Well that’s easy. I went hoodieless this night. A big step up for me I know. A quick clearing of my throat as I take a sip of water. “Nope.”
“You wanna talk about it?” She leaned forward on the table, resting her elbows on the edge.
“Nah.” I swirled the glass, as a few droplets fell onto the table cloth and soak the garment. “It’s just frustrating to say the least.”
Kasey simply nods her head and stands from the table. “I’ll be right back.” As she walks away I fiddle with my phone for a moment. I want to tell her. I should tell her, but she’s got too much going on and she has slowly shut me out on that front. I just wish that she would let me in. Allow me to help her with whatever she needs. I understand that she feels that it’s a solo mission, but that’s not the case. She can lean on me for anything and everything.
However, I must press forward. I open my contacts, dial the number and place it to my ear. After a few moments the familiar sound of an Australian is heard on the other end. “Oi Mate, how the Feck are ya?”
“I’m just great Donovan.” I drum my fingers over the table top. “If I’m calling you that must mean everything is peachy keen.”
“Nah, yeah, Nah. What’s got yer budgie smugglers in a bunch?”
“I think I’m going to go for the Ghost Protocol.” I glance around the restaurant and notice a waiter walking up with a bottle of wine. I simply point down at the two glasses and give him a thumbs up.
“Ahh the good ole GP huh? Okay. I think we can do that. Who do you have in mind?”
“That’s where you come into play Donovan.” Out of the corner of my eye I see Kasey walking back towards the table. “I’ll call you later, Kasey is heading back.”
“Tell her I says Hi.”
“I won’t. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
Why? Why on earth did I pick you Buster? Well I wish I could say it’s from the proverb, “The nail that sticks out is the one that attracts the hammer.”
However that just isn’t true.
There’s nothing about you that sticks out to the masses. To the entire world, you are nothing more than an insignificant speck of stardust floating aimlessly through your pathetic life.
And the fans.
Oh the fans just eat it up don’t they? They see you as one of them. You’re not! You should be better than them. You should always rise to be above them. Yet there you are, satisfied with your station in life.
Yay! Go Me!
At least I tried my hardest!
Bullshit. You haven’t shown anyone your true colors yet, have you? What’s going to happen when they see the real you? Hell, what’s going to happen when you see the real you?
You’ve never actually seen it have you?
That’s the difference between you and I. There is no question about who I really am. No doubts. I don’t even need to run down my list of accomplishments, they are irrelevant here.
I’ve been on what some people would call a downward trajectory, but you know all those places and accomplishments that I said are irrelevant? If you do anything more than a glance you’ll see a pattern form.
Every new company I walk into… I always start slow. GCWA, XWF, PH, Fight!… each and everyone of them started the same. A slow climb from the base of the mountain. Only to eventually park on the top and start building higher than what others could accomplish.
So think long and hard about everything that happens next Buster… you aren’t special. You’ve been inevitable.
Not you per say but someone like you.
Six Weeks Ago
My foot anxiously taps on the floor. The red ember of the cigar dangling in my hand slowly fades away. I pull it up to my lips and it glows brighter. “You said these guys could be trusted.”
Donovan looks around and then points to his chest. “Me? I said that? Nah mate, doesn’t sound like me.”
“Quit fucking around. This is serious. You wanted to see what happens when something like this happens. Here in PRIME, I have no allies. I have no friends. Dickie and Reyno aren’t here. Kasey isn’t here. It’s just me.” I take a deep breath and cough from the smoke. “So I ask you this one more time. Are they good?”
“Depends on your definition of good mate.” Donovan drums his hands on the top of his legs. “Like, are they kicking puppies bad? Nah. But they are the kind of guys that’ll run when the blue and red cherries are behind them.”
Suddenly there is a knock at the door. Donovan jumps to his feet and rushes over to answer it but before he does turns towards me. “Now I want you to understand I was working with limited resources.”
As he opens the door two men walk into the room. One rather tall and built but looks dumber than a box of rocks, and the other smaller but still dumb looking.
“See Shawn. Two perfectly good Henchmen.” Donovan nods and smiles at me.
“Goons.” I said succinctly.
“Goo—- no these are perfectly good henchmen.” A look of confusion fell on both men’s faces, but that was to be expected.
I simply shake my head and walk up towards the two men and Donovan. “These are goons.”
“What’s the difference?” A still puzzled Donovan asks.
“A henchman believes in the boss’s plan or ideologies. A goon is simply there for the money. These two have not a care in the world about my ideas or thoughts, or anything for that matter. That tells me that they are only here for the money.”
“Fine whatever mate, Goons. Their names are…” I quickly cut Donovan off before he could continue.
“I don’t really care. Money buys a lot of things in this world. Silence is one of those things that can be bought. The less I know about them, the better. As long as they do what they are paid to do nothing else needs to be said.”
“….Fair dinkum.” Donovan opens the room up to the two men but once again I stop them.
“That’s all for now. I’ll have Donovan give you the details, all you two have to do is show up at the arena on time.”
The two men slightly nod and walk out of the room just as quickly as they entered.
“That was rude as fuck mate!” Donovan exclaimed just as the door shut behind the two men.
“Yeah. I know. I also don’t care. All I need them to do is show up and follow the plan. If they fuck it up…. It’s on you.”
I walked away into the back room leaving Donovan there, as I looked back one last time I could see a sense of nervousness and worry on Donovan’s face. It didn’t matter. The plan was in motion, there was no stopping it now. Even if I meant relying on people I didn’t truly trust or know.
It started out as a joke really. With so many cults running around in our industry, I thought to myself…
“Fuck it, what’s one more?”
With so many people running around under the guise of a greater power, it has become watered down. Mundane. And just shoddy at best.
However we were never destined to be that. It wasn’t ever going to be a massive group of people. Each one hanging on my words like they were the gospel. No. I was to move in silence while others built me up. While others took the brunt of the fight.
I could simply lay back and wait. That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t choose you, they did. Their plan was to find someone worthy of fighting me at Ultraviolence. They fucked up and chose you. Good goons are hard to find these days, but alas you were chosen, Buster.
For Better or Worse.
Since that very moment this was going to happen. I personally can’t wait for it to happen. I’ve been saliva at the thought of getting back into the ring for PRIME. I sat at home for weeks without a word from anyone. Then I remembered who the fuck I am. I don’t need people to tell me when and where to be. I show up and do what I do best. Pure unadulterated violence.
Do you recall when I told you…
“No wasn’t an option.”
That wasn’t about joining the fray. It wasn’t about us teaming up. No. It was always about the fight that was coming to you. You could’ve accepted this as reality but you were so convinced that I was trying to recruit you that you failed to see the forest through the trees.
That’s just like you isn’t it?
Always willing to fight, but never having anything to fight for?
I have something to fight for. I have something to prove to these people. You are content with your lot in life. I am not. I am willing to go to the brink of death for what I believe in.
You haven’t shown me that. You say you will. We will find out which one of us is lying.
Four Weeks Ago:
I could feel the anger swelling inside. The three people sent out there to do one simple thing couldn’t. All they had to do was make sure Buster was down for the count when I went out there.
Sure when I got there he was tied up in the ropes but he was still awake. I could look into his eyes. I could watch him come to the realization that he was once again bested.
I booted the locker room door open. As it swung on its hinges and banged on the wall. “WHERE THE FUCK ARE THEY!?” I screamed as Donovan sat there with his eyes wide. Without hesitation he pointed towards the other side of the room.
I quickly turned towards the two mouth breathers. I got right in the face of the larger of the two men. “When I say unconscious, what do you think that means?”
It took a second for the question to register but eventually he opened his mouth to talk and raised a hand, however I stop him before he could even mutter a single word. “IT WAS RHETORICAL! If you didn’t know what it meant… FUCKING ASK!”
“Mate, Shawn…. You need to relax.” Donovan said while he was slowly making his way towards the door.
“You sit the fuck down and shut up. I haven’t even gotten to how you massively screwed the pooch.” I snarled at Donovan. I should’ve felt bad, but I didn’t as I quickly turned my attention back to the other two men. “It wasn’t that hard to accomplish. There were three of you! And it was right after he had a match! Everything was set up for you to do the one simple task…”
“He’s a good fighter.” The smaller of the two muttered.
“Oh is he? I’m sorry I forgot being a good fighter means that you can fight against three men who COULD’VE all had weapons. Not just the Aussie.” I point towards Donovan who smiles and nods. “However he was just dumb enough to NOT CONTINUE to use it.” Donovan’s expression quickly changed. “Unconscious. It wasn’t hard. Chairs. Pipes. Bats. Tables. All at your disposal. And you three untrained fighters thought it was a good idea to go toe to toe with him in the middle of the ring?”
“Shut the fuck up. Both of you get out of here!”
“But what about the money?”
“Money? You want your money now?” I sucked air in through my teeth and growled. “You get paid when the job is done. Since I had to go out there, ruin the surprise that it was me all along before Ultraviolence, and now he knows what to expect… No. You’re not getting paid. You’re lucky if I don’t cancel your rooms for the rest of the week. You’re dismissed.”
Clearly upset, the two men take a few steps towards me. “Or we could break your neck right now.”
“I saw what you two did out there, you couldn’t if you tried.” A side smile forms in the corner of my mouth.
Donovan stands next to me and leans over whispering in my ear. “Ya know mate. I get it now.”
“Come on D… you’re going to side with him?” The larger goon mumbles.
“Yeah. He pays me.” Donovan smiled. The two men shake their heads and head out of the locker room. When Donovan turned towards me.
Puzzled, I tilt my head. “What do you mean you get it now?”
“Oh right.” Donovan points towards the door. “Them two, total goons. Definitely not henchmen.”
I couldn’t help but chuckle slightly. “That’s what I Said!”
So here we both are. Ready and waiting for the fight of our lives. Well okay maybe that’s not entirely true. I have to put up the facade that it’s a fight for my life. You’ll just be living it.
This has always been about me. Arrogant I know, but true nonetheless. I wish I could sit here and say that I poured over each and everyone of your promos. I went through them with a fine tooth comb, but I didn’t. I just couldn’t put myself through that kind of agony.
You have always struck me as the wonder bread kind of wrestler. You know the ones. Follow the rules. Plays all the games in the back. Never stepping out of line. Being a good company man.
You’re just uninteresting. Sure every roster needs guys like you and most of them aspire to be more than that. You on the other hand are content with where you are. Just happy to be here. Happy to be on the team.
I can see your trophy case at home now. Soooooo many participation trophies. I bet all the ladies fawn over your fifth place in the semi regional pickleball tournament of the greater Des Moines area. Bet that was a real panty dropper. Or your purple ribbon for the sixth best cucumber at the county fair. Some girl looked at that and said…
“Damn. Can’t wait to jump the bones of that balding guy who barely looks like he can push a self propelled lawn mower.”
You have no presence. You fade away in people’s minds quicker than it takes someone to speed run Minecraft. You should be thanking those three idiots that chose you.
You’ve finally been recognized.
I see what people have said since our journey has begun. Now they are all waiting for me to get my comeuppance.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that isn’t because they like you. No. Each and every one of them knows what happens if I get on a roll. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s nothing more than a fact of life.
We should all be aware of what Athazagoraphobia is by now. It’s not something I struggle with any more. I know where I stand in the pantheon of this industry.
It is something, however, for you to start to think about long and hard. How will you be remembered? Who is going to remember you? Why would they?
They won’t. I’ve been around the world fighting the best. The only thing you’ll ever be is a footnote in my book. You’ll be forgotten the second the bell rings a second time.
You will be like Marty McFly when he didn’t bang his mom. Slowly fading. For you there is no happy ending. No thrashing on an electric guitar. No Doc to bring you back.
That’s just the way it is.
Sometimes the bad guy actually wins. There is no fairy tale ending for you. Just be a good little bitch and walk away when it’s all said and done.
Run away. Hide. Do whatever you need to. In real life there are no participation ribbons. Just fighting until you have nothing left to give.
That’s a hill I’m willing to die on, are you?
Shawn simply smiles a winks at the camera as it simply fades to black.