Reluctance & Retirement, Part V (Dog Day Afternoon)
Kevin Watson, at a time, was a man of few words and many habits. In the earlier days, Kevin's half brother, Nemesis and even for a short stint at the cusp of the millennium ... Apocalypse, spoke for the man formerly known as K-9. As the years past and career opportunities dwindled the mouth pieces of yesterday faded away.
Given the nature of the business and Kevin's fairly successful Gold Rush experience, coupled with his latest ULTRATitle press work, Kevin seems to be slowly learning to live within the law of the land. So to speak.
Or, Perhaps ... his new found zeal brought forth by a life of missed opportunity, stolen chances, and poorly handled situations have given way to a new and improved, more calm, collected and cathartic grappler. One who doesn't mind spending a few hours stringing together a promotional spot to hype a forthcoming match. Especially if it means raising his guarantee and draw.
Assuming, he has one ... beyond billing himself in hole in the wall promotions as the “CSWA’s LAST Greensboro Champion."
Or. It's all an apathetic coping mechanism to mask his distain, distrust and damaged idea of what the business has become in the last decade or so.
Never the less; Kevin was still is a worker in the truest since of the occupation specific adopted meaning. Every night, no matter the circumstance, he hits the ring and gives the crowd everything he has ... or ever will have. Sometimes it’s just enough and others he falls short but leaves everything in the ring.
This was no mission of redemption nor an attempt to affirm his legacy. This was simply another step along the way. The ULTRATitle was the next step ... that ultimately would lead to another and again to another. There, truly, is no rest for the weary and Kevin's illusions of grandeur had long ago fallen by the way side. All he sought was to carry out how ever many years he had left in him to give to what was left of the business that had given him so much
Win or lose, Kevin wrestled tomorrow. And then again the next day, until his knee's or his back finally gave out and demanded his retirement. And even then, he'd go one more time in any bingo hall, dive bar or arena that would have him. This is all he knew, and all he had ever wanted…
… and retirement would come at a reluctant pace
A banged and batter door hinged to an aging center block building swings open wide with a shrill creak. Kevin Watson emerges from the newly created void and crosses over the thresh hold into the fading afternoon sun. He plows his hand into his weathered jean pocket and retrieves a half crushed and all but empty pack of cigarettes.
With his eyes squinting in the orange glare, Kevin, lights a cigarette and draws in the chemical dependence based relaxation accompanied by the toxins and tars. The stress of the day, or at least the last hour, escapes from his body with the carbon monoxide and left over smoke.
He raised his free hand and rubbed his eyes. His hand slowly dragged down his face and landed squarely on his scruffy beard leaving his rough and callused fingers to relieve the itch of a matted beard. With a look of contemplation or at least confusion Kevin launches in to a monologue.
"In an industry that has spent nearly two decades placating and putting up with Troy Windham's tired shtick... I hate to be the one that has to disappoint but against the urgings of the 'The Epitome' himself; I showed up." Kevin announces as smoke bellows from his lungs.
Kevin lifts the cigarette a little bit higher, assesses the effects of the first drag and flicks the ashes for safe measure. Feeling comfortable with its current state he continues.
"And even if Troy, wants to continually numb us all with the same trite and cliché diatribe that any wrestler or wrestling fan has grown well accustom to and in turn, for effect of course, pretend he has no idea or even a small inclination as to who I am ...
I'll gladly play the opposing opposite and be forthright in the absence of Troy's ability to speak in terms beyond his tried and true gimmick.
…and much to his chagrin, I'm sure, openly admit; I know who he is."
Kevin flicks his ash again before drawing from his, eventual yet ever so, certain death. His exhale twists and turns into the outside air and he cringes at the thought of his next omission.
"Hell, we ALL ... know who he is. Whether, we like it or not."
With a slight twitch that inadvertently results in a few popping vertebrae, Kevin tries to shake off the sting of the last comment.
"Being that as it may ... " Kevin pauses and draws again from his nearly finished cigarette. " ... with out the help of an estate draining agency, an agent or even my, less than trusty, attorney … " Kevin pause abruptly to exhale and lets out a slight cough.
"... Jackson Klein, I could probably fill everyone in on Troy's favorite subject, just incase he can't find the time amongst the stretch limo’ riding, jet flying, iPod updating and lady of night paying lifestyle; to properly introduce himself to anyone who may be unfamiliar with his royal Epitomness. Or subsequently has taken up residence under a rock for the past ten years or so."
Kevin checks what is left of his costly habit and flicks the butt causing the ash to break loose a float to the ground. He pulls from the speckled yellow filter once again and continues his own diatribe as the remainder of the smoke escapes his tainted lungs.
"Troy has practically done it all. That is, of course, aside from actually being or portraying anything more than the slacker/business impresario ..." Kevin pauses, with a deliberate facial expression denoting sarcastic confusion. " ... he's beamed into your television sets for the better part of twenty years. Troy is rich and successful, if he hasn't found time in his busy acting schedule to mention that.
Troy is powerful and amazingly trendy for a thirty eight year old man, I might add. Oh, and incase you've only recently tuned into the ULTRATitle tournament and all its prestigious glory ... his tips are forever ... freshly ... frosted."
The man once billed as “The Innovator of Insanity” again jars the extended ash from his cigarette just before raising it to his lips to finish it off. Green means go, and as the white departs from this physical world, the last flick of the butt is the one that sends the smoldering fiberglass to its final resting place upon the ground.
"It bares to mention; Troy is a pillar of the screen actors community, why - with his roles on episodic television on the envelope pushing USA network and -- lets not forget; a Cable Ace award winning performance in a made for television melodrama aired exclusively on the emerging auctorial hotbed that is the Lifetime channel.
Although, I can not attest to the claim, being I don't have the need, nor want ... or hell, full disclosure, disposable income ... to read these publications ... but I hear Troy "Generation X" Windham is commonly featured in GQ, Variety, and even Vanity Fair.
Which, and don't get me wrong ... Troy is amazingly vain ... but I had no idea that a magazine held in such high, yet ridiculous, esteem featured B or even in this case, possibly C List made for television movie stars... or professional wrestlers. But again, what would I know ... I don't read these particular publications."
Kevin stokes his facial hair with his nicotine stained fingers.
"What else?" Kevin acts as if he is in deep thought momentarily, "Troy is apart of, quite possibly, the largest clan or ever-sprawling family in the history of the wrestling business. Who seem to have a inextinguishable amount of twenty to thirty something year old goons that will follow someone as scatter brained as Troy.
He appears to have a thing for midgets, but hell what fan of the CSWA doesn't have a bit of a soft spot for the vertically challenged.
Troy also loves to talk in circles, repeating himself each time in a slightly different way. Maybe just to get his point across or simply to hear the sound of his own voice.
Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that 'The Epitome' is a big fan of repeating himself. I'd guess mainly just give his loyal fan base a double dose of his 'tome.'"
Kevin takes a moment to reposition, while enjoying his own lackluster attempt at a humor.
"Speaking of "The Epitome" for those who may not be hip to the vernacular ... the moniker within it self is truly a testament to Troy's never expanding and William Morris Agency scripted wit.
Epitome is the embodiment or exemplification of a person or thing. The model or quintessential archetype, if you will, and I think everyone can agree, whole heartedly, that Troy Windham is ... in fact ... the person or thing that is typical of or possesses all the traits of ... well; Troy Windham.
Really? Who else would ever dare to be quite that pompous and utterly absurd, save: Dan Ryan maybe.
I know I'm missing something else, something ... at least to Troy, that is of grand importance. But then again, when it comes to the subject of Troy, what isn't of grand importance to ... Troy?" Kevin says as he raises his hands to express a sarcastic bewilderment.
"Of course... How Windham of me ... Gold Rush! The night that "The Gold Standard" single handedly drained the remaining funds on the CSWA's official books with his private locker rooms, crudités plates and aged ... cheesy banter.
But as history will correctly denote, that is not the only amazing feat to come out of the night for; your favorite wrestlers least favorite wrestler ... also managed to stand in ring and run his mouth for the whole of an event while he watched fifty nine other combatants actually give a damn."
"I know, you saying to yourself ... that’s impossible. Believe you me ... I was there, and saw it with my own two eyes. After being regaled with the most quaint video package of himself reclaiming his title short months, or long years before ... I forget the time frame; Troy laced up, frosted his ever so frosty blonde tips and sashayed his swollen swagger down to the ring and gave an unruly microphone a tongue lashing like no women has ever seen from "The Crown Jewel" with out clarifying the going price first.
Everyone's favorite clansmen even took time to single out yours truly as we awaited are soon to be opponents to stake their claim in the multi-ring event. He amused the crowd with a rousing report of a prank he once pulled on a younger and much brasher version of you current orator.
Struck me odd at the time being that Troy had previously acted as if he didn't know me and well, we know what has gone on before. So, business as usual I suppose. Some things just refuse to change… like Troy.
Actually now that I think of it ... Troy was the FIRST to introduce me to the world as the NEW Greensboro Champion. Who knew I'd be the last, right? Or ever one at all. Life's a strange beast."
Kevin reaches for another cigarette from the depleted pack but he doesn't light this one right away. Instead he just holds it between his index and ring finger as if it were lit. Sometime just the ritual is enough.
"And even then, Troy wasn't done. Oh, no ... not by a LONG shot!
That microphone had apparently slapped the taste from some Windham's mouth at some point and 'Boy Troy' wouldn't rest until he made it square or at least retrieved said spit.
He really went in. I hear he; found the next American Idol and even took a call from JK Rowling. I heard him ramble off something about Harry Potter, and best I could tell amidst securing my spot in the final ring and the Greensboro title that he even managed to cure celebrity onset anorexia.
It was ... quite a night. The gift of gab was certainly his that night, if not ... every night. Given that he says the same **** every night, in every town ... no matter the event or stakes.
So, as the smoke cleared, and all rings divulged into on singular battle ground comprised of mostly newly crowned champions, ex-champions, and runner ups ... Troy went on to give the performance of a Lifetime ... movie."
Kevin pauses, mostly for effect, while he takes the chance to light his second cigarette. With it effectively burning and the first sweet drag inhaled and released back into the lower atmosphere he continued his speech.
"Troy "Mark's Brother" Windham managed to toss FIVE of his opposing eight.
You were close Troy!" Kevin remarks snidely while pointing toward the camera, "Sixty is kind of close to eight, give or take fifty some odd participants.
The stars aligned for this Sweetwater, Texas star that night, folks! JA's upper body, a chronic masturbatory grip and a traditionally placed commentary desk would ultimately be 'his Grace's' ... saving grace.
Eron snuck Flair ... I bought into my own hype momentarily, made a mistake and crashed through said commentary table. Eron got dumped as "The Boy Troy" played Superman and made it safely back in for the forth or maybe even fifth time without actually touching the floor; taking home the Gold Rush and retaining the CSWA World Unified title.
Standard ... Gold confetti was then had by all. Marks marked and Windhams world wide were elated.
And all was right in Sweetwater."
Kevin drags from his cigarette again.
"It's a cute story. I know.
I'll leave out the ending... I don't want to spoil it for Troy’s fan base who hasn't yet found a trust worthy tape trader, or figured out how to work a torrent to get a hold of what would become a legacy's last leap."
Kevin coughs in a obviously deliberate fashion and blends in a muffled, "Dan Ryan."
"But that was five years ago, and while Troy Windham, with the help of his clan and the incessant, nerve racking, screeches that emerge from JJ Deville's mouth ... who by the way went to college, and will in fact NOT believe your name to be ... your real name, took over New Frontier Wrestling or took a humiliating post bender dump in a non-functional bathroom on the Men of a Certain Age set...
I vanished only to find myself trapped in my own past and left in obscurity to scratch and clawed my way across the United States, trying to put right what once went wrong, strive to stay true to the craft, and live the life of so many greats that came before me and most certainly before Troy ... all out the back of a RENTED Saturn, I might add.
... sometimes a Ford Focus.
Kevin catches himself rambling aimlessly and stops for another pull from his cigarette. He reaches around to his back pocket and produces a small tin flask and with a twist of the cap he tilts the cold cheaply forged metal to his lips and indulges in his favorite vice of them all.
"Sorry, I know Windham fans, especially, lack any semblance of an attention span; unless of course you can repeat yourself several times in a row to really drive it in to there thick skulls.
For those who do not suffer from the same affliction, give me just a moment to draw back in the lesser of the human species."
Kevin clears his throat, swigs, and begins speaking again mocking his previous comments in a restated form.
"Gold Rush. The Boy Troy pulled a Boy Toy and then lost his strap, and I imagine his smile to Texas' other resident stereotype ... Dan Ryan. Everyone with me?"
Another swig flushes down Kevin’s drying throat.
"This time Troy, you won’t have the luxury of sitting back and playing Bill Buckley while you would be victor has to clear an entire ring before getting anywhere near Mr. CSWA.”
And another for good measure.
“This time the risk is too high, even for you. No more pranks and no more bull****. One on one ... center of the ring, and all other applicable jargon.
I’ve got nothing to loose here and everything to gain. You said it yourself, surprisingly only once … The highest I ever reached in this profession is a title you were ‘handed’ upon your debut.
Kevin Watson, the ULTRATitle champion? That doesn't even have a ring to it.
I’m here, simply, to keep doing what I do and every step closer to the finish is another ass in another seat once I get back to the independent circuit.
Yourself, on the other hand, this may be your last shot at roping the sun and riding it into another straight to DVD film.”
Another tip of the flask.
“Win the ULTRATitle? We’ll see … Knock Troy Windham off his high horse and crush his last shot at eternal glory? That’s something I'm game for!”
A final attempt proves fruitless as the flask is tapped, producing only mere drops of liquid. Kevin reapplies the cap and slips it back into his pocket.
“So Troy, how about you save us all the trouble and no-show your next scheduled interview appearance, even though they’d benefit obsessive compulsive's worldwide.
That is of course … unless you have something new to say after eighteen arduous years in front of the camera cutting your old school international superstar promos?”
Kevin realizes he let his cigarette go out and drops it to the concrete.
“Remember, even the sun shines on a dog’s ass once in a while. Fade to black, Troy.”
Kevin surveys his surroundings for a second longer before turning around and walking into the back lit darkness of the door way from which he emerged.