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Any f'k ring you want: Blood and Guts

User Poets

The Shadow Pope
Jan 6, 1995
Top of the Pile
FADEIN: Greensboro, North Carolina, in the Merritt Auditorium. Most of the wrestlers in the GOLD RUSH match had been through the building/arena at least once, to get a feel for the place. A few, like Ivy McGinnis, spent a few hours in the Jedi Archives communing with the ghosts.

With one ghost, at least - Ray S. Cornette.

"There's been a lotta talk about the CSWA and what the CSWA stands for in the past few days, and a lotta people who think they know what the CSWA should encompass. Some of my opponents and potential opponents are telling me I'm old and washed up, that I should just get outta the way for the new generation."

Eli Flair was in the ring, sitting on the top turnbuckle. The arena was well - lit by house lights, and his hair was pushed behind his ears except for one strand that refused to behave.

"I think, somewhere along the way, my purpose, and my mission, got lost in the shuffle. You see, as much as Troy calls himself the future of the CSWA and of the wrestling business, as much as Troy says his time is now and he's going to prove he's the greatest wrestler in the history of the sport, I was the exact opposite of Troy Windham from the moment I stepped into the ring."

"I didn't go on the road as a professional wrestler to be the Champion, or to make a million bucks, or to become the cool factor in the music video, Sammy. I became a professional wrestler because I dropped out of highschool. I became a professional wrestler because, without it, I'd see the same people, the same streets, the same everything every day for the rest of my life."

"Unlike some of my opponents in the GOLD RUSH, I wasn't fortunate enough to go to college on a wrestling scholarship, or be fortunate enough to be born a Windham. My goals in professional wrestling were to be a living, breathing, eating human being."

"Somewhere along the way, I found the CSWA, and was fortunate enough to be able to ply my trade on a national platform. Somewhere along the way, in the midst of the lowest part of my life, a fan referred to me as the Original Nobody. Like the Black Flag logo spray painted all over Southern California, the idea of the Original Nobody grew and expanded, and took on a life of its own."

"Through it all, I wrestled as hard as I could, wherever Merritt and Thomas wanted me to, however high up or down the card they wanted me to. I never considered myself anything but lucky that, not only was I a part of the CSWA, but I had managed to carve out a niche for myself simply by being myself."

"How many of you can truly say that? Even the Great Troy Windham changed up his nickname, his gimmick, and his catchphrases to try and drum up more business. The Blackest White Man in Wrestling, Troy Diggedy Windham, certainly sold less than The Epitome. But I managed to fight my way to a spot halfway up the card at Fish Fund XI's Day Two, defending my Presidential Championship, to boot."

"That's all I ever wanted from the business - a way to make a living. It was the fans who decided the rest for me. That's why I've always come home whenever the CSWA was coming back around."

"That's why I get so angry when Kin Hiroshi accuses me of abandoning a sinking ship. If I'm the bad guy, Kin - why are you the one claiming the ship is sinking?"

"Ivy said something before one of the most recent resurgences - that it doesn't matter if we sell zero tickets for Doc Shirley's bingo hall for a card that features Jason Bateman against a pair of midgets in a men's room - that if the marquee says CSWA she'll be there."

"A lotta these kids don't understand that this is the attitude that the CSWA fosters. You've gotta want it bad, because the CSWA will fight you the whole way - but it's always worth it."

"A CSWA card always delivers. The CSWA doesn't set the standard, the CSWA is the standard, to quote the greatest man to ever sit behind the microphone. So it begs the question, why would one of the CSWA's champions claim that the CSWA isn't as prestigious as it used to be, instead of using his championship status to prove that it is? Why would a wrestler answer an open challenge because it's the CSWA, and then declare himself the savior of the promotion?"

"What you're looking at are a bunch of kids who either don't get it, or don't know how to sell it. What these kids don't understand is that the CSWA sells itself. You don't need to know the full history to understand that Hornet and GUNS hated each other. You don't need to know the full history to realize that Mike Randalls is the most feared and most respected wrestler to ever set foot inside any ring. You don't need to know the full history to know that, the moment Eli Flair and Troy Windham face off, everyone else in the center ring is gonna back off t'see the fireworks."

"You don't need to have been there in 1988 for the first card to know why Hornet and Joey Melton are, individually and collectively, a big f'k deal."

"Someday, years from now, the CSWA will close its doors for good. And when that happens, the letters C-S-W-A will take on even more of a legend. Fans who saw firsthand the Rage in the Cage, or the Biggest Triangle Match of all time, or the 20-Midget Under the Top Rope Battle Royal, or - dare I say - the GOLD RUSH - will be the link to a history that you truly did have to see to believe."

"And the CSWA will still be the benchmark for the greatest that the sport has ever seen. And the people who say otherwise will still be wrong."

"I wonder if the kids involved in this GOLD RUSH match truly understand what kinda legacy they're becoming a part of. I wonder if they truly appreciate the weight that this match'll have on the next decade of their lives."

"But it's okay if they don't."

"They will someday."


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