<b>All, sorry it’s taken so long for any movement to come from my camp. Harsh deadlines at work and preparing to move at home do not an attentive Garth make.</b>
<i>(We fade in on a really poor-quality video of the match between Aaron Jones and The First at Aggression 71. It’s the very start of the match, and following the opening bell, the video freezes in place the first time Jones and the First are both visible on-screen. The camera then zooms out, showing that the image is being projected on a small TV set up on a rolling stand. After a few seconds, a live-action Jones comes around from behind the camera and stands behind the TV, leaning forward and resting his arms on top of it)</i>
<b>Aaron Jones:</b> Now, for the rest of my life, I can tell the world that I once stepped in the ring with the EPW World Heavyweight Champion.
Even if the title wasn’t actually on the line, and the match didn’t exactly end as I’d have hoped.
I’ll also be able to tell the world I was part of the most recent installment in the neverending “Who’s under the Dis mask?” saga. Though that probably won’t have a very significant place in EPW history once 20 more guys or so have used that mask to get close to the title.
In a way, it’s weirdly gratifying. Getting sneak-attacked is an important part of being a wrestler.
So I’ve been told, anyway. Copycat talked about it a lot – I guess it used to happen to him all the time. Knowing what I know about him now, I don’t have a lot of trouble understanding why.
Call it a rite of passage, maybe. And if you’re going to get sneak-attacked as a rite of passage, all the better if it’s by some guy in a mask, right?
I’m not going to say I enjoyed the sneak attack, of course. I have enough trouble dealing with one opponent; dealing with two is a bit much.
But I’m looking at it the way I looked at the First’s vow to send some sort of message by breaking my arm:
In the end, I’m still here.
Just like I told the First I would be.
That brings us to Aggression 72 and a triple threat match with Tony Davis and Karl “The Dragon” Brown.
A couple of guys who, as Karl said, have more than two decades of experience between them. Me, I’m coming up on one year.
Now, I’ve watched Team V.I.A.G.R.A. during its off-and-on runs through EPW. And I couldn’t have missed Animezing Dragons’ domination of the tag team division here over the last year or so.
I can’t deny being a little interested to see what happens when you put two guys most recently known for their tag team runs into a singles match. And that’s even before you get to the part where I’m in the match as well.
But the most striking thing about this match-up for me is the fact that I appear to have an opponent whose first instinct <i>isn’t</i> to immediately hate anyone he has to face.
Karl, I’m sure you’ve had many such encounters over the course of your experience in this business, but in my limited experience, I’ve not seen a lot of competitors who can go out there and compete without blind hatred or misdirected rage.
Heck, in the King of the Cage tournament, even my own tag team partner kind of hated me.
All this means that I’m kind of new to the professional compliment thing, and I’m not very good at it myself. I don’t know that I could offer any words of reassurance over the loss of the Tag Team Titles that would seem meaningful rather than obligatory.
And it’s not because I don’t empathize; there’s just only so much empathizing I can do, seeing as I don’t know much about what it’s like to lose a symbol of success.
Here’s what I do know.
I had a handful of singles matches, lost them. I entered the King of the Cage tournament, made it to the second round, thanks in large part to the hard work of Malcolm Joseph-Jones, and lost. Faced the world champion, lost.
But I’m still here, and I don’t intend to go anywhere else.
Aggression 72 is the next step. I don’t know where that step will take me, but I’m not going to hesitate before I make it.
We’ve all three of us got something to prove, and we’ll all be looking for a way to prove it.
And if the best way for us to prove it is to just go out there and wrestle, without all the threats and insults and mind games…
Well, I’ll be more than happy to oblige.
<i>(Jones steps away from the TV and comes around behind the camera. The video on the TV screen starts up again and the match continues for another few seconds before we abruptly cut to black)</i>