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Where Were We Again?


League Member
Jan 1, 2000
Amsterdam, NY
"Right, so ... where were we, again?"


Greensboro. For years, the mecca of the professional wrestling word. With the decline of the CSWA over the past half-decade, maybe not so much anymore. But, through all his travels about the world, it's always been the home of Troy Douglas, and that's where he is now, spending this cool spring evening on a hill behind his house. In the distance, rather appropriately, the CS Enterprises' headquarters and the Merritt Auditorium can just be made out in the twilight.

DOUGLAS: See, it feels just a little weird looking into this camera one more time and even weirder knowing that it won't be too long until I'm back inside that squared circle I made my home for so, so long.

Because, honestly, I thought I was done. I SWORE I was done. But, it's like they always say, right? As soon as you think you're out, that's when they drag you right back in.

Walking away had been on my mind for a long, long time, folks. And when I finally did, I promised the people in my life that I was walking away for good. I was done with the bumps and bruises, the torn ACLs, the concussions, the months of rehab just to come back for the opportunity to spend even more time rehabbing something else.

I was done with Cortisone shots and submerging myself in ice just to be able to haul my body out of bed the next morning, drive to another arena and have my opponent whale on me for 20-plus minutes. I was done with eight-hour drives on interstates where the horizon never changes and 3 a.m. room service burgers that never quite go down the right way.

I was ready to settle down, start a family, do all the other things in my life that I'd neglected for a decade of pulling on spandex and fighting other half-naked men in front of a worldwide television audience. And, you know what? Two years ago, I all but disappeared, and for a little more than a year, I've been persona non grata in this industry.

Like so many before me, I took my ball and I went home. And believe me, I have every reason to want to stay there.

But, in the past week, a couple funny things happened. First was, I was at home last weekend, flipping through the channels, and what do I stop on but the title sequence from "Casino Royale."

And what do I hear? That music. MY music. I reached the point where I can't even remember how many times I walked through the curtains with Chris Cornell singing "You Know My Name" over and over again, but it had been more than a year since I'd even heard those trumpets, those guitars, those lyrics, and I realized something.

It wasn't MY music anymore. And for the first time in more than a year, I really started to MISS what I'd left behind a year earlier.

Then, as fate would have it, comes the revival of the ULTRATITLE. The tournament that I've watched since before I was even in high school. The tournament that I still have every tape of every match for nearly a decade stocked in a basement closet that my wife never wants me to touch, because she knows that if I start diving in there, that's basically a lost weekend.

So, yeah, suffice it to say that I felt the pull.

And then I saw the names come rolling in. Joey Melton. Eli Flair. Troy Windham. Deacon. Dan Ryan. Kendall Codine. Guys I traveled the circuit with, guys I never had the opportunity to lock up with, even guys that I watched all the way back when I was a 12-year-old kid in the front row of this run-down old warehouse here in town that ended up being the most famous arena in professional wrestling. Going up against those guys, even if it's just this one last time, that was an opportunity I simply couldn't turn down.

Which means, like that headache you just can't seem to shake, I'm back again.

Am I in ring shape? I sure hope so.

Am I as good as I was at my best? Well, when I shake off the rust, we'll all find out together.

Listen, I know my reputation. I'm the Nearly Guy. The guy all the folks get behind, stomp their feet, slap the barricade, cheer me on as I climb that ladder, and then pat me on the shoulder when I come up just that little bit short.

With the exception of one night in my career, I was always the guy who never won the big one. Always came this close, but as we all know, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

But, when you talk ULTRATITLE? Man, when I hear that word, when I think of all that history, I know that anything can happen.

Maybe it'll be Joey Melton, pushing 50 now, making history with ULTRATITLE Number Three.

Maybe it'll be a guy like Flair, Ryan or Windham tacking that trophy onto resumes that make mine look like the menu from Pizza Hut stacked up against the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Maybe it'll be someone I've never seen before.

But maybe, just maybe, it'll be Troy Douglas. Maybe, just maybe, I'll dust off those boots, pull on that spandex one more time, get into that ring and do what I do best -- only this time, when I get near that top step of the ladder, there's no slip, there's no stumble.

Maybe, just maybe, when the summer comes to an end, it's to the sounds of Chris Cornell echoing through an arena just one more time.

My career's been one hell of a story. But every story deserves a good ending, and over the last week, I realized that as happy as I am in my life right now, my life inside the squared circle ended on a TO BE CONTINUED and a looming question mark.

Cliffhanger's over folks. For better or worse, to quote Bob Seger, "Here I am, on the road again. Here I am, up on the stage."

Where the story goes from here, who knows?

But I'll guarantee this: I am Troy Douglas, and by the time an ULTRATITLE champion is crowned, you will know my name.

I'll see you at the end of the road.


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