A true love story
An honest friendship
Sup motherfuckers, it’s freedom time
— — — — —
MGM Grand Arena
Under the rampway and out of sight teeheheh
Las Vegas, NV
October 7, 2022
“Do you love me?”
She says these words with uncertainty, as if anything could be uncertain. Words have always been important to her, they are a form of security. Behaviours, of course, will follow. But words are immediate, behaviours may take longer. Both interconnected, however, will drive our spirits closer.
“Of course I love you.”
I realize I replied slowly. Her gaze falls to the floor. I don’t think she believes me, so I place my hand gently on her chin and bring her eyes to mine. I say the words with absolute surety.
“Of course I love you.”
Does she hear me? I certainly hope so. And if she doesn’t, I will have my chance to show her with actions. She hands me the ski mask but she doesn’t have to ask me to put it on. I instantly ensure it’s snug and my face is well covered. We will not reveal ourselves until the appropriate moment.
“I love you with every inch of my body. Every fiber of my being. You are my whole. My only. My person. You are a reflection of me and I, a reflection of you. I vow to you. To show you commitment and honesty. We were unable to reveal our true love to them before. But now, it is different. I subscribe to you in the fullest. I embody your mind and soul. Together we are impenetrable. Together, we are one.”
My pledge is sharp and clear. I can see it in her expression now. She hears me crystal clear.
“Fucking right, bro. Honk honk honk, bahahaha!”
Leave it to my best friend to ruin the moment. She takes a second ski mask and shoves it into his chest, clearly not happy. He gets the message. Well… he kind of gets the message. He smirks before pulling the mask over his face.
“Way to ruin things, Darin,” she snaps.
I will not let us fall in this moment, a moment that hasn’t even started. I will intervene. I will prove to her today…
I take her chin once again. I am lost in her eyes.
“I am going to destroy. For you. I will seek vengeance. For you.” I’m breathing heavily; I’m worked up. This is an intensity I’ve never felt before. A fire underneath me. This is more than a World Title tournament. It’s more than a spinoff reality show. This is real life. And she is my life blood.
I hear the crowd roar. I feel like our cue is near.
“I want you to know everything I do out there is in your name,” I mention.
“It’s in our name,” she corrects. Some would say her tone was scolding. I would say it’s loving.
I hear a thump of the mat, a louder cheer of the crowd.
I know it’s my time.
“Okay everyone,” she raises her voice. “My ALPs up first. The rest of you follow in the order we talked about.”
They nod, I’m stuck on her. All of this in her name.
Sorry. In our name.
In the spirit of freedom. The magnitude of love.
Let the convoy commence!
— — — — —
MGM Grand Arena
Hall’s Locker Room
Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2022
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
Their locker room, silent. If paint peeled, it would be loud and chaotic. Everyone has gone home and ReVival 8 has long since concluded but not for the three inside this location. Their night… their pain… has only just begun.
The blow up hot tub sits deflated, folded and stuffed in the corner. CONVOY signs turned upside-down, with whatever cleverly written slogans scribbled on them (likely the majority of them slandering Lindsay Troy) never to fall on active eyes. The megaphone is idle and the five Energizer Double A batteries it takes to charge it aren’t going and going. They’ve been ripped out and lay scattered on the floor. Even the steering wheel is not within holding distance. It was discarded and placed in the trash.
The three of them process what took place. It’s anything but a journey for the Hall’s. What was meant to be a fairytale has, once again, turned into a nightmare.
Round one loss in the Universal Title Tournament to the eventual World Champion.
Next, booted from SurViVor, the first team kicked out.
And now, round three in the tag gauntlet, eliminated.
A loss to the tournament winner and being voted out first could be reasons to hang your hat on. They could be attributed to skill and not incompetence. Threats bow out quick. The weak kick around.
Love, however, is black and white. The happily ever after journey is not achievable with significant bumps in the road.
Add another bump to the list. A BIG bump.
Finger twirling in his bellybutton.
Jonathan-Christopher can’t come to terms. The match was decided hours ago and yet The Vow of Virtue is stuck in a trance. He sees Bobby Dean walking- no, strutting towards his Amazing Life Partner, with a look on his face suggesting…
She wants some of that.
Jonathan-Christopher glances upwards, out from the palm of his hands and towards his beautiful wife. She continues to sulk in the corner, looking at the white brick wall across the way. She doesn’t move, she doesn’t blink. God only knows what struggle runs through her mind. And if that struggle is Bobby Dean, may everyone place Vickie in their thoughts and prayers.
Jonathan-Christopher can’t come to terms. He can’t see her in this state. He lowers his head and places his face back into the palm of his hands. He sobs. At first, a light, controlled wheeze. Soon it moves into a full blown panic attack.
And Darin Zion, the best friend. The one who knew The Egg Bandits on a different level. The man who has faced them before. The guy on the butt end of their jokes for years. He sits on the other side of the bench. There’s a sense of nothingness and yet an understanding…
He will never measure up to the Bandits.
The room doesn’t move. Minutes seem like hours, hours… an eternity. Their progress was destroyed. Their cause has been ejected.
The Egg Bandits defeated them. There is no next step.
So they continue to live in misery. By now, it is well into the next morning. Custodial may have asked them to leave but they haven’t made a peep. There would be no belief anyone still resides in this locker room.
The LOVE CONVOY comes to its close. A Hallmark Journey, this is not. And as Jonathan-Christopher shakes with anxiety, his mind continues to be stuck in the gutter.
Finger twirling in his bellybutton.
— — — — —
Hall Family Home
September 1, 2022
Trauma. There’s no specific recovery period. It is not a broken bone, it is not like acid reflux, although it can certainly trigger the digestive disorder. Serious, post traumatic stress can cause a whirlwind of emotions. It can mean forever management. It can be an exhausting, uphill battle.
For Jonathan-Christopher Hall, since the events of May 20th, this is the case. Unable to keep food down, unable to think or work through a day to day experience without the need to curl into a ball and cry, attempting to manage a highly strung anxiety attack. His Amazing Life Partner, Vickie, is a mess in a different way. She, nowhere to be seen. Her presence, nowhere to be felt.
Although the sun has only cracked the surface of the farm estate, The Forever Man has been up for hours, situated on the front porch, meaninglessly staring into the distance. Dates and times lost, for he’s clueless without his cherished ALP beside him. Down the dirt road path, an old red ‘91 Chevrolet Caprice comes tumbling down the strip. Barely able to exceed the speed limit, on a road that wouldn’t have one to begin with, Jonathan-Christopher sees the automobile making its way through, only for the car to stop, put its blinker on and roll into the front driveway of his long-standing family house. The Timid Tiger’s expression never changes. Instead, his attention reverts back to the center of his seated position, staring into the distance, as if he wasn’t willing or able to convey he has a pending visitor.
The driver’s door shoots open and out walks a confident, yet tentative Darin Zion. Away are the pink tights. No longer does he sport his hair in a man bun. The smug look, the girlfriend… everything about this seemingly confident, over-the-top chap has subsided. Replacing it is a man of solitude. A Darin Zion unforeseen. If Jonathan-Christopher was able to process his surroundings, he would definitely double take. Maybe even triple.
“A-hoy!” The skeptical Zion breaks the silence as he makes his way across the broken pebble stone path. At one point this farmland was prestigious but it hasn’t been cared for in years. The pebbles are broken and random, there’s barely a resemblance of an actual walkway to and from the doorstep. “JC, is that you?”
He always hated the nickname JC because it would irritate her. But today and for the last three months, it did not bother Jonathan-Christopher.
“Hey man,” DZ approaches, under the assumption he’s welcomed. No longer tentative, Zion reaches the stairs and walks onto the porch. He marches over and punches JC in the shoulder blade.
But Darin Zion continues.
“I hope you’re doing better,” the best friend states. Reality? He’s not. The Vow of Virtue goes through the same routine with no changes whatsoever.
“I was giving it a lot of thought, and, well…” Zion’s voice trails. He tries to fixate on the same location Jonathan-Christopher is watching. Yet Darin can’t seem to find anything. Just a tree or two blowing in the morning wind. No wildlife, no amazing view of nature at its finest. Darin might not be the sharpest but he’s also not an idiot. He realizes Jonathan-Christopher’s struggles. He can only imagine the type of trauma his best friend has gone through.
At any rate, Darin didn’t come here to give up easily.
“I’m okay, man,” he states but he’s not doing well, either. Zion hasn’t found success within the PRIME singles division. He speaks for love, he shares Hallmark stories. But he feels like no one is listening. “I lost to David Fox last month, hmph. Remember him? We sure did show those guys a thing or two in tag team action.”
Action. Something he hasn’t seen from Jonathan-Christopher since the moment the bell tolled and their loss to The Egg Bandits.
“Hey, did you receive any of my messages?” Zion leans forward and nudges Jonathan-Christopher playfully. It’s becoming clear this is the same Darin Zion in personality, the mere “new” perception of him is rather deceiving.
Hall continues to stare in the distance. Zion pulls up a seat beside his best friend… and by pulling up a seat, Darin simply takes a cross-legged rest on the wooden floor beneath him.
“Yeah, well, Lindsay said I have to get my act together, she’s tired of wasting time on me if I’m not getting shit done in the ring. I’m frustrated, man. Fucking rattled. We had a good thing, didn’t we? I thought so. It’s a shame it didn’t work out, huh? It really is…”
He looks up, he sees no response. The same deadpan pose. It’s the look he saw when Darin FaceTimed him two months ago. The same face he saw when they skyped the following week. A demeanor unchanged when Zion flew down a month ago, as he was in town for a different reason. And now, again, on this direct drive from Las Vegas.
“Dammit!” Zion cracks, standing up. He actually punches Jonathan-Christopher in the shoulder. “Get over it! I’ve gotten over it! We can keep fighting! There’s still hope! I thought we were supposed to be best friends!? Did I not tell you I LOST to DAVID FOX? The guy promoted our match talking about OTHER matches and countries he’s wrestled in like I didn’t exist! Fuck! How do you think this makes me feel!?”
Zion hits him again.
“I need you!”
“I thought we were building something!”
“Hot tube.” Hit. “CONVOY.” Hit. “Honk honk and shit.”
Hit. Hit. Hit.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
Defeated. Darin Zion’s defeated again, this time against an opponent that isn’t even trying to fight back. REAL LOVE collapses on the floorboards once more. Resembling a previous image of Jonathan-Christopher Hall, he sulks into a ball and places his face within his palms.
“Fine. I’ll drop the love shit. I’ll switch to fucking Multiverse Zion. Maybe I’ll leave wrestling entirely.”
And they sit in silence. Jonathan-Christopher stares away at the empty space in front of him and Darin Zion sobs. DZ’s no longer angry, he’s no longer sad. He’s come to terms with everything. He will send his resignation tomorrow. Perhaps Meredith will take him back. Fuck, right now he’s willing to do anything. Working at the truck stop down the road sounds plausible.
At least then he won’t have to put up with disappointment.
“I spoke to her, you know,” he announces, sounding like he did not give any real thought to the statement. It wasn’t something he was planning to say… and yet, immediately after hearing these words, Jonathan-Christopher’s head tilts to the side and slowly shifts around. Robotically, The Timid Tiger’s head moves in the direction of his best friend. While Zion’s face remains in his hands, his sixth sense kicks in. He knows something is up.
Darin lifts his head and witnesses the same stoic stare from Jonathan-Christopher.
But the stare is directed at him.
Zion puts two-and-two together.
“I- I- well I did. I spoke to her. She misses you greatly.”
For the first time in months, Jonathan-Christopher’s jaw unlocks. His tongue slowly reaches the top of his throat. He’s attempting to speak, yet no words come out of him.
“She told me about the institute you went to. The Residence at Homewood? She said it was a solid program for you, you made significant progress.”
Zion hangs his head.
“Then relapsed.” He adds with a whisper to himself “and here we are.”
The Forever Man is locked on his best friend. Unlike before, his eyes have meaning. There’s a purpose within them. He isn’t vacant. He is present. Intently present.
“Yeah, man,” Zion catches on, too. “She still loves you. Well, you know this. It’s not like you two are separated on purpose.”
Darin stands and dusts himself off. He pats Jonathan-Christopher lightly on the shoulder, the same spot he punched numerous times. He sees trickles of blood through JC’s shirt, Darin likely broke a blood vessel or two.
“Listen, Jon-Chris,” he starts again, realizing Hall’s gaze has followed him all the way up. “Call me crazy but we can fucking do this. Reunite and make the journey strong.”
Zion smacks his hands together.
“I can bring you to her. We can work through your trauma.”
He pauses and shutters upon the thought.
“It’s Bobby, isn’t it? Seeing his disgusting, obese body wiggling towards Vic. You can’t get it out of your head, can you? I know, she told me. She showed me one of your intake files.”
Zion takes a zen breath, a calm inhale/exhale through his nose and diaphragm to reduce his own stress.
“Fuck Bobby. What if I told you we can get them back? We can get them all back. Because she has a plan, JC. And it’s gonna fucking work.”
It’s clear Jonathan-Christopher wants to say something. He’s tapping his left foot at a furious pace. However, what he wants to do and what he’s able to do are two separate things.
“Follow me, okay?” The best friend offers to take Jonathan-Christopher’s arm and guide him off the porch, down the broken pebble stone path and towards his ‘91 Caprice. Like a baby making his first steps, JC struggles. He sways from side to side, there’s a point in time where he may tip over. Nevertheless, upon arrival, Jonathan-Christopher can stand without the aid of his best friend. Zion opens the driver’s door, reaches in…
And pops the steering wheel off.
“Honk?” he asks, holding the wheel out for Jonathan-Christopher’s eyes to fall upon. “Honk, honk.”
The Vow of Virtue is captivated by the steering wheel.
“Get in my car,” Zion says to his counterpart. “Cause we’ve got a journey to restart and a convoy to re-energize.”
— — — — —
FUCK OFF. You hear me!? None of you, not even your stupid World Chump are better than REAL LOVE Darin Zion. I’ve tried to prove this for YEARS. Now I will. It finally comes to a head and this is a moment the two of you WON’T be able to stop. You will not halt our journey, not any longer.
You do the same shtick over and over again and I am ABSOLUTELY FUCKING SICK OF IT. No one wants your story. Yeah Bobby, you’re fat and funny. Dooze, you’re pretty witty. Here and there the Bandits show tons of promise. Then they fizzle out over the long run because none of them have endurance.
Say whatever the fuck you want about Darin Zion but I always keep going. I refused to take my last loss against you as a final one.
Now my best friend and I are going to mangle your fucking faces! Bobby, I will rip the blubbery cellulite right out of your ass! Remember the time you lost weight and claimed to be a legitimate threat? I do. It wasn’t a bad look for you.
Too bad Slim Bobby lasted three fucking minutes.
REAL LOVE will prevail! This time is different. We’re out for blood, it’s not just a romantic storyline anymore.
Because in a world where Darin Zion is on top, that’s a horror story. I’m willing to admit it.
I’m a problem solver now. I brought our team back and you’re the first in a long line of wrongs to make right.
You two are A JOKE and will NEVER HAVE your story finalized.
LOVE CONVOY is here.
HONK MOTHER FUCKER, HHHHHHOOOOONNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKK.
And go fuck yourselves, too.
— — — — —
Today (09/10/22) 09:00am
-Hey Vic I just arrived
-He’s sitting on the porch again
-He looks terrible
-I’ll get him
hiii ya ok plz do-
take ur timeeee-
-Yes I’ll let you know
ok gr8 tell him i love him-
all is forgivennnn-
hey have u got him yet-
hey zion have you got him yet?
hey is my man secure?-
dude zoin this isnt funny have u spoke 2 him yet????//-
—200 messages later—
zzzzion seriously whats going on ive called u 15 times 2 no answer why am i on silent??-
-Hey V, my bad I was talking to the guy
-Yeah, I got him he’s in the car now we’re on our way
omg my hero-
this is amazingggg-
back 2gether again-
pretend like the last 4 months never happened-
pretned like the last year never happened lol-
their all gonna be so sorry-
well start w blueberry-
then the fat boy-
make him sorry for giving my man PTSD-
that sloth of a ditchpig has no place in PRIME-
btw im so in luv w my jonathan christyopher-
no one will ever no what happened between him & i-
zion are you there?-
zion if ur driving u can text @ same time cmon zion-
OK ill call u-
zion ffs pickup i called u like 15 times-
lets make every1 payyyyy-