”In every end, there is also a beginning.” – Libba Bray
The MGM Grand main lobby is bustling with activity. Two feet come into view as they walk across a large stylized image of the MGM lion on the marble floor. Coming fully into view is a tall woman, six feet tall, with a nondescript duffel bag flung over her shoulder. Her dark hair is pulled back behind her head, and piercing blue eyes look out at the scene in front of her. Sweatpants make up her travel wear, a black t-shirt hides lean, tight muscled arms, and on the front reads, in white block text, “MURDER DAUGHTER”.
In a few moments, she flops her bag down on the floor next to her as she stands at the lobby desk. She continues to look around absent-mindedly as the clerk looks up her information and then, finally slips a small envelope across to her with her room key cards inside.
At this, she turns her attention to the clerk.
“All of the PRIME employees are scheduled for some promotional time in the Azalea Ballroom once you’ve gotten yourself settled upstairs.”
Cecilia blows out a sigh. “Awesome. Which elevators?”
The lady points off to her right across the main entrance next to the casino entrance.
“Right there around the corner to your left. 15th floor.”
The ride up the elevator was uneventful. She looked around and shook her head at the overly ornate finishes inside, as well as mirrors on every wall. Reaching her floor she adjusts the bag strap over her left shoulder and steps out almost right into a small group of men, approximately in their mid-to-late twenties.
“Excuse me.” She pushes her way by, and one of the men, clearly intoxicated, slaps her on the rear as she goes by.
Cecilia stops in her tracks, then slowly turns around.
She stares him in the eyes, an empty, focused glare that causes him to flinch as he realizes she’s actually a few inches taller than he is. Then, just as quickly, her face softens into a smile. She walks forward, and his own stance softens. She holds out her hand to him and he reaches back to her grasping it and drunkenly caressing it.
Suddenly, her face flips again, eyes flashing and with a growl, she violently bends his hand back harder than the human body was meant to withstand. Bones in his hand break immediately, with one of the bones sticking through the skin. The man screams in pain and crumples to the floor. She looks down at him, expressionless, then back up at his terrified companions.
“Might wanna call the paramedics.” And winks. “His hand’s broken.”
She turns, the trademark Ryan smirk on her face, and walks away.
”I didn’t want anybody seeing my fire until I burned them with it.” – Cameron Conaway
Two days later, Cecilia Ryan is in ring gear standing in the Azalea Ballroom, her arms folded across her chest as she watches other PRIME wrestlers cut promotional spots for the return of PRIME. Someone, she doesn’t know who yet, is at the microphone with poor Angelica Brooks, a slimy smile on his face, leering at her ‘assets’ and in general being a giant douche. His name is omitted here to keep from revealing who on the roster is a lecherous a-hole.
Finally, he finishes, and the camera light turns off. Angelica takes a deep breath and glances over the man’s shoulder at Cecilia, who is next. The man, however, doesn’t leave. “Hey so, can I get that number?”
She looks at Cecilia again as if begging for help.
Cecilia walks up, the man hears her coming and turns around. She stops in front of him and he looks her up and down, surprised and impressed by her size.
“Whoa, who are you?”
Cecilia looks at him, anger growing inside of her, then glances at Angelica Brooks again, whose pleading eyes look back at her. Cecilia’s face goes sweet again and she holds her hand out. He slowly goes to take her hand… when another voice calls out.
“HEY, move along. We don’t have all day to get these done.”
Lindsay Troy, President, and CEO of PRIME, and aunt to Cecilia Ryan, is standing there, an irritated look on her face. The man looks at her, then back to Cecilia, still holding her hand just a few inches from him, staring a hole through his head….. waiting. He looks down, thinks about it…. Then turns to Troy and holds both hands up.
“No problem. I’m done anyway.”
With a smirk, he turns and walks away.
Troy waves her finger to Angelica Brooks as if to say “Let’s keep it going…” and Brooks nods back at her. “You must be Cecilia Ryan, nice to meet you.”
Cecilia smiles back at her, holds out her hand, and shakes the interviewer’s hand gently.
“So basically, we just want to pump up the show, the venue, all of the basics.”
Cecilia nods. “No problem. I’m a little new to doing this on camera, so be patient with me. Hopefully, I don’t screw it up.”
Brooks relaxes and places a comforting hand on the young woman’s shoulder.
Cecilia’s face, however, turns to a snarl as she looks at the hand. Her eyes narrow and she glares back at Brooks. She sees this immediately and jerks her hand back. Cecilia’s face goes back to a smile.
“Whenever you’re ready.”
Brooks nervously nods her head, then motions for the cameraman to start.
Cecilia turns her head to the camera with a smirk.
“Right off the bat, I have to say I’m just a little embarrassed. The other day I saw people milling around the hotel here, like Nova, Larry Tact, The Angle Luchador, Rezin… and I kinda got excited for a minute because I thought maybe PRIME was putting on a legends battle royal or something.
But then, when the brackets came out, I realized that… oh shit… they’re actually in the tournament with me. So that was embarrassing. But then I got really excited! I have always wanted to get in the ring and match skill and wits with a bunch of people who peaked the year I was born. Can’t wait to see a bunch of old guys come to the ring while early 2000s goth-rock plays over the speakers.
But I do have to say I find it a little unfair that we’re all forced to be here in this hotel together. I mean, it’s all fine and well for those guys – they get the AARP discount – but I’m just starting out, and I don’t exactly get an allowance anymore. It’s gonna be real awkward at the breakfast buffet in the morning with me sitting there trying to get a balanced breakfast in, while those guys spend their morning slowly slurping up plain oatmeal because their doctors/wives/grandchildren suggested they go easy on the fatty meats.
I will say, though, that the hotel itself is super nice. PRIME returns next week with a bang and what better place to begin the brand new era? And what better place for me to step into the ring for a global promotion for the first time and start making a name for myself other than the one I was born with? I was born into this. I was made for it. This business fits me like a glove, and I’ve been working my ass off for three solid years to get to this point.
Hayes Hanlon, I don’t know you, man. And I’m pretty sure you don’t know me. But I’m not much for introductions, so we’re gonna get our intros done in the ring. I’m sure you’re looking across, not expecting much from the rookie, but I can promise you, I’m not a normal rookie.
No one has ever been as determined as I am, as fierce as I am, or as tough as I am. I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire life.
And I’m sorry, but I don’t have a junkie brother and evil sister to add to all of this for the sake of being edgy. Do me a favor, and leave your soap opera cliche family nonsense to yourself. Skip all the B.S. and just give me your little bursts of intensity. Because aggression and violence are all I know, bud. I don’t care that you’re bigger than me, or that you have more experience. Violence is like currency in my family, and my family is rich as hell.”
”Maybe I’d always been broken and dark inside.” – Sarah J. Maas
I know what you’re thinking.
What does she know about the real world? What does she know about this world?
My father’s career came to a close last year.
Endings are abstruse, mystic, and unreal. They are but depleted beginnings purposed to be substituted with newer ones. A transition of outlook and time, similar to our differing moods before and after slumber. Before the act, we witness exhaustion, a sulkiness, but on gaining consciousness, we’re rejuvenated and good-humored.
Wakefulness is the new beginning whereas the tension the disturbance we perceive each night is the weariness of the beginnings, of each day.
So there never really is an end.
All that there are…. are beginnings. Beginnings that are promising, which offer hope, which have a new lease on life, which neither denounce nor belittle, but rather soothe and console by reconstructing the broken pieces of yesterday, mending them and reinforcing them with courage and beauty like never before.
It’s only natural to feel inadequate at the beginning.
Winners were not born winners; they learned and practiced how to win and they have it. Everyone who gives a great testimony about his/her life begins with a beginning that was “inadequate” until something happened and a breakthrough became evident.
Hayes Hanlon thinks that intensity is the answer. But if you don’t have that intensity, why would you even be in this business, to begin with? Intensity is the starting point. It means you can handle the rigors of day-to-day life on the road, in the ring, with a target on your back and the means to protect yourself. It doesn’t make you special. It is the bare minimum.
But I want more.
You have bursts of intensity. I have bursts of ‘go f*** yourself’.
I don’t want to simply be. I’ve created standards for myself, and while you may be happy with a fun little jaunt through the world of PRIME, I plan on exceeding, on rising above the fray. In the end, I won’t be known as Lindsay Troy’s niece, as Dan Ryan’s daughter. They’ll be known as Cecilia Ryan’s aunt and father. That’s the only goal that matters to me. Excellence, or death. It matters to me.
People tend to be resentful when you refuse to lower your standards or join their misery.
This match next week is my first, and it is the most important match I will ever have. This is my chance to make a first impression. Hayes Hanlon, I wouldn’t want to be you right now.
Show me the heroes that anyone looks up to, and I will tell you the future of who they will be. My heroes have been strong, independent, and relentless.
This is my destiny. Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for. It is a thing to be achieved.
I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have seen done, of everything done to me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affect and was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’m gone which would not have happened if I had not come.
I have been finding treasures in places I did not want to search. I have been hearing wisdom from tongues I did not want to listen to. I have been finding beauty where I did not want to look. And I have learned so much from journeys I did not want to take.
I have learned that miracles are only called miracles because they are often witnessed by only those who can see through all of life’s illusions. I am ready to see what really exists on this side, what exists behind the blinds, and taste all the ugly fruit instead of only all that looks right, plump, and ripe.
I don’t expect this to be easy. I expect to have to scratch and claw my way through all of this, but believe me, I’m ready. I don’t want to be handed anything. I want to earn it. If you don’t earn something, it’s not worth flaunting.
And I look so good in gold.
”The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney