Culture Shock 2023
Not What I eGGspected
“Well, PRIME. It’s been fun. I’ll be seeing ya when I see ya, I guess.” — Fox’s Files, April 9th, 2023.
There I sat.
Slouched. Stifled. Sickened.
My ears rang.
My vision doubled.
I was bleeding. Not just a scratch, either. No, to look at me you’d think it was that time of the month for my ghost white hair.
If only there were a fancy ascot to help plug the bleeding.
I had just gotten done shuffling my sorry ass through the backstage area of AT&T Stadium, and let me tell you it was no easy slog. However, I was able to find a small slice of respite at the end of my journey when entering the infirmary. You see, there was no line. All the chairs were empty. I was the only one in there. In other words, I guess it’s just me who has to get bandaged back together after big matches.
In other words, Cancer the COOL once again fell victim to the COOLYMPIAN curse of going out on your shield.
Inside the room I was being worked on was a TV with the Battle Royal playing on it. My head was pointed at it, but I was so zoned out, so devastated and mind fucked, I couldn’t give a shit about what Richard Parker was saying or the action in the ring.
My surprise return…
My rambunctious romp through said Battle Royal…
My hop, skip, and jump to the summit of COOLYMPUS…
The Battle Royal was supposed to be it. I was healthy. I was spry. I had the element of surprise. I survived the initial onslaught. I was cruising right along, ping ponging between the two rings. Crumbs were starting to get eliminated. I looked around, surveyed the land, and the climbing conditions were in the 40’s.
Then, out of the blue, he showed up. The Arm Breaker. El Yeti. The fancy stone lodged inside one of my salt whites. Mr. Finish Line. A supposed friend of mine. I used supposed because friends just eliminate other friends in Battle Royals.
They don’t try to cave in their skulls first.
“I still got the scrum to do. How bad is it?” For as irritated as I was, I probably should have been hissing at the medical seamstress tending to my wound instead of inquiring about it. “Can it be butterflied?”
The medicine woman stopped what she was doing and gave me one of those stupid looks– like I was just some plebeian doorman that she was better than.
So her last name was Farthington or Seinfeld?
She then explained to me with a furrow of entitled disbelief, “You have a deep laceration above your eye that needs to be closed properly. It’s not some piece of steak.”
Paging Dr. Stevens.
My blood boiled as I was taken aback by the comment. Befuddled even. Sure, I was suffering from head and face trauma, but was it possible Little Miss Pizmo had no idea who I was? I mean I’m KING COOL. I wear T-shades. No one sees my eyebrows. Ever. Well, hardly ever. Insulted by her sheer ignorance, but ultimately more concerned about other pressing matters, I rattled on. “Listen. I meant my hairline. Is it good, or do I need to hire a hitman?”
I got another one of those looks before she plainly answered, “It’s fine.” I motioned with my hand for elaboration. She obliged. “While the damage to your face shows brutal precision, it’s almost as if the attacker went out of his or her way to not endanger your hairline.”
Almost instinctively the hair on the back of my neck stood at attention, followed by a sudden rush of dizziness.
I felt… faint.
“Uh… what’d you say?”
“I said, you are beginning to show signs of stage three male pattern baldness, with the onset of a receding hairline just forming here, and here…”
Truth is I don’t know if she actually answered me or not. I do know it was a good thing I was sitting down, though. Well, that’s what the medical seamstress told me.
That, and I could have really bumped my head.
Stuck in Place
“Just an hour ago I received a text saying that Cecilworth backed the Glue Factory and that when Nightshift and I took out Phil we were in essence taking out Cecil. Certainly would explain some things, but I’m not buying it. There’s no way Cecil would align himself with such a rabid, glass eating, glue sniffing, loser like Phil Atken. Then again, Cecil was in a stable with Mike Best. TBD.” — Jiles’ Journal, April 10th, 2023.
There I stood.
High. Humbled. Hungry.
It was late in the afternoon. I was inside an airplane hangar, but outside of Timo One. I wasn’t on board or in the air because the area around the jet had been comically roped off in yellow caution tape by Homeland Security.
Yes, that is to say there was a problem.
A big one.
The day of Culture Shock Night Two, Bobby Dean and myself hopped aboard Timo One and took a quick trip from Houston to Dallas, because who gives a shit about dolphins and the ozone layer. After we landed we tried to get off the PJ but Bobby couldn’t stand up. I thought he was gassing me at first because he didn’t feel like competing, but then I saw it. I even had to take off the T-shades to make sure they weren’t glitching, but I saw it.
Bob ate so much in that small amount of time he became wedged in his oversized seat.
Glued to it is more like it.
So, I begrudgingly had to take his spot in the Culture Shock Battle Royal.
Fast forward a couple of days later and Bob was still trapped in his seat. I know he was because the jet was still tilting to the side in the same manner as when I last left it.
Now, if you’re wondering why I haven’t stormed the plane and tried to rescue Bob; there was no way of knowing what the inside of the aircraft looked like, or smelled like. Shit, for all I knew there could have been a bunch of those facehugging Alien eggs inside waiting to hatch.
I feel bad for the facehugger who plants his baby in Bob’s chest. The poor thing would probably suffocate and/or get crushed before he even had a chance to break through Bob’s rib cage and open its little Zion-like eyes.
However, just because I wasn’t ready to go in with a triple hazmat suit on and DDT canisters blazing, it didn’t mean I wasn’t trying to think of everything to help out my friend. And because I am smart, and because I don’t give up, and because I am a friend, and because Homeland Security left a bullhorn, I came up with a solution.
The way I figured it, I’m sure if Bob just farted hard enough he could pop himself free, and if that didn’t work he’d probably wind up power shitting himself so badly from trying to fart he’d simply slide out of the chair anyway. So, the real question wasn’t how to get Bobby Dean unstuck, but how to make him fart. Not just any old fart, either. I’m not talking about a Noxia blast, because that would peel the paint of the plane, but something around it.
Remember now, Bob is probably low on gas. He’s been stuck now for over two days. He ate everything that was on the plane before Culture Shock, and he only keeps enough emergency snacks on his person for one day.
The fart will need to be excavated.
There was one thing going in my favor, and that was that Bob tends to get a little extra gassy at the sound of my voice; it’s like a dog’s tickle spot for him. Sadly, his phone was dead so I couldn’t call him to converse with his sphincter. But, there was that bullhorn Homeland Security left behind.
Lucky Number 7.
Oh, and for the sake of the jet we’re hoping for option number one. No matter what happens though the seat will have to be removed and shot into outer space.
“Hey Bob. It’s me. Cancer. Just letting you know I’m out here buddy, and that I really wish you would have shown up to the Culture Shock Battle Royal.”
I didn’t mean for that to come off so harshly. It just sounded like it through the bullhorn. I swear.
“I could have hid inside your belly button.”
In order to diffuse Bob so he’d properly pop, I needed to first make him feel wanted, so then he’d get uncomfortable, which would then progress to awkward, which would then bring him to his most gaseous point.
“Not for when they were escorting me out of the building for how I acted during the press conference, and not for when I wanted to hide from my shame after failing to climb COOLYMPUS.”
Dark times call for darker places.
For a second I thought I heard Bob yell “AGAIN” from inside the plane. I of course ignored it and continued on.
“I mean for the Battle Royal.”
Oh, and I’m not allowed to talk about the events of the night two presser in specific detail.
“Since the match ended I’ve been replaying all the things I could have done differently, and I can’t stop thinking about all the energy I might have saved if I had been cocooned in the pit. All the nutrients I could have soaked up. I truly believe it might have been a difference maker– at the very least I’d have been fresher down the stretch.”
Mark that is.
“Just imagine me popping out at forty-two. My music hits, everyone is looking up at the ramp, and I sneak out of your belly button. Would have been a sight to behold.”
I am an entrance guy.
“I mean, who cares if I might have shot out the other orifice near your midsection if say someone like Crumbblood suplexed you while I was concealed inside the abyss. It would have been worth the risk, especially knowing now how things played out.”
I already felt like shit, right?
“Hey, that reminds me. Why don’t you come on out here and tell me which one of these I should go with? Crumbworth Farthington? Cecilcrumb Farthington? Cecilworth Crumbington? Cecilworth Fartingcrumb?”
Life is full of tough decisions.
“Or my favorite, Crumbcrumb Crumbingcrumb?”
Sometimes you just have to rise up and take a stand.
“It’s okay, Bob. I know your legs are numb. Start by wiggling your toes a little. Also, did you hear anything about a Cecil backed Glue Factory? Some international area code keeps texting me about it.”
I wasn’t about to dox someone, so I waited a few seconds for anything really. Maybe the plane would level out, or a window shade would go up. Maybe the door would open and Bob would emerge as a skinny, somehow more handsome man.
“Say, are we getting any action in there, Bob? Since I had to stand in for you Mom thinks I’m back, and she booked me on the next show. No rush, but it’s going to take 72 hours to detox the plane, and I want to get into the next town early so I can try and talk my way out of the booking. It’s basically a dark match so I think I’ll be able to.”
A ball of dust rolled on by.
Or one of Mom’s wigs.
“Do me a favor, Bob, and try rocking back and forth if you’re getting any rumblings.”
Dug in like a tick.
Then, Timo One shook its tail wing.
Not So Different
“Nothing is going to change the fact I failed at the Battle Royal, and therefore won’t be hopping on the express chariot to the top of Mount COOLYMPUS. It’s back to square one.” — Jiles’ Journal, April 15th, 2023.
The room was no suite.
That’s. For. Sure.
I must’ve missed out on all the good rooms since I was grounded in Dallas for almost five days. However, I am happy to report that even though I had to recharge the bullhorn on three separate occasions, in the end we got it done. Bob has been freed, and is only allowed to sit on the floor moving forward. His head did leave a small dent in the roof of the plane.
Anyway, after Bob and I shuttled his old seat to outer space, which is definitely code for we left it in Nova’s backyard, we got back aboard Timo One and took off for Oklahoma City. Upon arrival, I wasted no time tracking Mom down. I found her at some fancy salon, and she laughed at my request not to wrestle. I pointed out the head injury I recently sustained and she made a snide joke about there not being anything up there to begin with. Then, she followed up that snide joke with another snide joke about maybe if I wasn’t a curtain jerker she’d consider it. I even returned her wig that blew across the ground in the Dallas hangar and still she wouldn’t budge.
So, here we are.
The Days Inn.
Me, my T-shades, my jumpsuit, and my fern.
I waved off my jesting in an effort to gather myself and lock in.
“Even if I had to topple all the way down the card to finally cross paths with you, I’d never do that to another Day One guy. ”
The few. The proud. The people still hanging around that I haven’t sent to the afterlife yet.
“No, I have respect, Jake. Even for you.”
A dignified clap for Jacobber.
“In fact, Jake, I was just thinking the other day about how similar you and I are. I know. Crazy, right?”
Poor guy. The real tragedy here is that Jacob really is a Day One guy and he doesn’t deserve this.
“Obviously, we’re both Day One guys. We’re both veterans of the ring. You are one and eight, and I feel like I’m one and eight. Shit, who am I kidding? We both look one and eight, too.”
I snickered, but it was only to hide the fact that I really do feel one and eight. Who’d have ever thought ending Phil’s career would come back to haunt me like it has? Where the fuck is Nightshift when you need him?
“I mean, sure, you didn’t come up just short in the Almasy, or make a deep run in the Battle Royal. You might not be a former Universal Champion. You might not have had a Pay Per View renamed after you. You might not have been in the MAIN EVENT. You might not have been in a MAIN EVENT. You might not have been called Skybox Magneto and had the X-Men for a security detail. You might not know the comfort of a Golden Ticket. You might not be the reigning HEEL of the year, but I promise we’re still very much alike you and I.”
Convincingly, or at least hopefully convincingly, I nodded. I know it’s tough to believe that a man as scarred and as hideous as Jacob could have anything in common with me, but he does.
Thanks to Cecil.
“Just like me, Jake, you are a cockroach. I might be the bigger cockroach, figuratively speaking that is, but we’re both cockroaches nonetheless. We survive. In the face of the harshest conditions we refuse to quit.”
Brothers of the sword.
See, I wasn’t totally goofing about the similarities.
“Now granted, maybe the reason you’ve lasted as long as you have is because you haven’t met the right Eggsecutioner yet.”
I shrugged. It ain’t easy finding good help. Trust me I know.
“If that is the case then allow me to assure you that should you fuck around you will find yourself as the newest member of my Day One Crew.”
“They got some pipes for sure. I wonder if they know any Screamin Jay?” — Jiles’ Journal, April 16th, 2023.
Day One Crew.
Bruce Lame, The Mathlete, and Nightshift.
The D.O.C. is an acapella stable of former wrestlers that sing songs about wrestling instead of actually wrestling. The gig doesn’t pay so well so some of them had to get side jobs.
One is a math teacher.
The other sells fried chicken at night.
And the other rides waves on a Batboard.
I wonder what job Jacob is going to do?