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They can miss you while you're still here, too

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They can miss you while you're still here, too

Post by Red Chocolate on Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:43 am

“I’m only human after all…”

As the words of Brett Angel’s theme hits deep into Quarantine, the crowd’s cheers rock the arena as they’re treated to a cherry on top of an already spectacular show that isn’t even over yet!

And there he is: the man, the myth, the legend, the one that everyone has an opinion on, the polarizing figure who’s slow to take umbrage at the mud slung his way. A hand in the pocket of hs jeans and a smirk playing at his lips, all telltale signs of his even demeanor. Months away has done little to shake his confidence.

Brett Angel looks up at the crowd, thousands of people on their feet applauding enthusiastically. Angel raises the microphone to his mouth, and it takes a long time before the noise dies down enough for him to feel he can speak over it, even with that microphone.

ANGEL: I am, the outcast, Brett Angel...

And as is tradition, he stops speaking letting the sold-out crowd pick up where he left off...except this time he cuts them off.

ANGEL:...and when I was last here, I truly believed that it was to say goodbye. My arm was torn up, my spirits were at an all-time low, and I was tired. So damn tired. Tired of this and that...tired of words whispered just out of my earshot. But in my sentimality, I figured that I would have it all end where it began for me.

That was stupid.

I should have known better. Brett Angel retiring against his will? A pipe dream that I was weak enough to buy into. But in that moment of weakness, I was truly, genuinely happy, because I had a future that didn’t involve wrestling. Settling down with a woman I cared about, maybe a kid or two and the whole nine yards, it was something to look forward to.

But it was something that couldn’t be sustained with the mindset we were both in.

Angel pauses a moment to look out again into the sea of people, but there’s something in his expression that’s changed. He’s not doing it to soak in the adulation. He’s studying them, trying to piece something together.

ANGEL:And she’s stronger than I am, because she’s out there, for better or worse, trying to prove a point, and I realized that I had to follow in her footsteps. And that brings me here.

“One more match!”

“One more match!”

The chants spring up suddenly, as if something in Angel’s words were the detonator to set them all off.

ANGEL: And that brings me to that.

He dramatically swings his right arm around in large circles, then aggressively pats his right bicep.

ANGEL: I could have been wrestling months ago.

And just as quickly as that chant kicks up, they being petering out.

ANGEL: Hell, I could pose an open challenge right now, if I wanted to, and take on anybody who wanted to test their luck.

And now they’re cheering again, at the thought, despite Angel not looking to be dressed for competition.

ANGEL: If I wanted to.

I don’t.

The boos are tentative, and incredibly foreign. But they’re there, and as Angel cocks his head to the side, it’s clear he hears them too.

ANGEL: I won’t.

The sharpness, the coldness of those words are what break open the floodgates, and the crowd that was so hungry for another match, so happy to just see Angel in one piece, have slowly begun to shift their views, though they’re still in the minority as the cheers outweigh the boos.

ANGEL: My contract with Genesis ended at Ascendence, and I’ve been a free agent ever since. When I heard Dave Turner finally admitted what I was telling him all along: that he wasn’t suited to life behind a desk, that you can never truly stay gone, I saw hope. I saw a future of Genesis that had a reinvigorated Brett Angel on it.

See, while my goodbye to UnMatched was a little premature, as far as the severity of my injury goes, it did serve a purpose. That goodbye still meant something to me. It helped close that door. I left for Genesis in the first place when I didn’t want to be there, and that weight on my heart didn’t lead to the success that it should have.

That weight’s gone. And I’d love nothing more than to waltz back to Genesis and see if round two doesn’t go better than the first.

The boos begin picking up traction as Angel looks to be here just to rub it into their faces that he won’t be coming back...essentially kicking them while they’re already down.

ANGEL: The problem is just when I was ready to talk about a game plan for round two, who would be revealed to be the new General Manager of Genesis, but Cassondra LaFave. While I’m sure she’s a sweet woman, I’ve grown tired of the LaFave family drama, and I was only indirectly involved in it last time.

Fusion was an option until I remembered that the Sampson family drama was even worse, to the point where no one was sure who was actually in charge. Not to mention that it was the heiress of the Sampson clan who ousted me from UnMatched to begin with. So, no, that wouldn’t work for me.

Which left UnMatched.

But as I watched what played out between Matthews, Sullivan and Syndicate, I thought to myself: is Matthews really any better than Turner? See, I’ve grown tired of the lawlessness and the chaos that plagues all three shows, which means I’m out of options.

I’ve got nowhere to go, making me an outcast in more just name, now. Without a contract, I’m a free agent wandering from show to show until I decide which is the lesser of three evils.

The boos are stabilizing, not merely a fluke reaction, but now a consistent feeling of anger and frustration as Angel dangles the prospect of himself wrestling again in front of his fans as though it were a carrot on a stick.

ANGEL: Who knows how long the process will take? With all the interest everyone takes in my every move, it’s only fair that I really sit and think about what my next move will be. The process could take days, weeks, maybe even a month or two.

Months? He’d make them wait months to see him compete again?

ANGEL: I would have done this all behind the scenes, sat at home, made the entire free agent process a private one, but I’m the type of guy who isn’t meant to have nice things. No matter what I do or say, there’s a subset of wrestlers who always have my name on the tips of their tongues, while in the same breath, questioning how I remain so popular when I’m not around. Which is why decided to show up tonight, to address the latest instant, and after what happened earlier, I’m glad I did.

I have some working theories on why people miss me no matter how many times I walk away. It could be because I always leave them wanting more. It could be because they like the way I look with my shirt off. It could be because I’m so damn good that when I’m gone there’s a void that nobody left behind can fill. I don’t know; those are just theories. I always thought the more interesting train of thought was people missing you while you’re still around. Say, them missing the man who wouldn’t let people negate his royal rumble victory, or missing the man who would fight for that co-main event spot at Implosion, or missing the man who wouldn’t let someone from another company show you up on your home turf.

The audacity of Angel to criticize, irritates the people even more and those who weren’t booing before are seriously considering hopping on the bandwagon, if they haven’t already.

ANGEL: I respect you enough to think that shouldn’t be the case, but maybe I’ve been gone for so long that things are starting to pass me by. What I know is that when people spoke of me that way, it hurt. When I was on Genesis, they spoke of missing the man who took UnMatched by storm, it ate at me. It kept me awake at night. It made me question if I was good enough, if I wanted this enough, if I would ever hold a championship again.

And I didn’t like that.

When it felt like the answers to all of those questions were no, that loss at Ascendence became the straw that broke the camel’s back. Ascendence was a long time ago, and since then I’ve had time to consider if your opinions should matter to me as much as they once did.

The answer is no.

Angel says that last sentence after a dramatic pause, taking no shame in stringing these people along. As a consequence, these boos have reached their crescendo, and Angel has to actively press forward to continue speaking, otherwise he’d never be given the opportunity.

ANGEL: So few of you truly understands what it means to fight for something bigger than you...something that isn’t pride, wealth or fame. And even fewer have ever battled for someone who couldn’t fight for themselves. Which makes the list of those who can criticize and have it mean something even smaller.

There’s always been a disconnect between why I became a wrestler and why I’m still a wrestler. Trying to sift through those muddy waters isn’t something I’m prepared to do. But from what I’ve been able to see, one thing’s clear: when I’m back it won’t be because of your chants. It won’t be because I was promised a title match. It won’t be because someone called me out.
I’ll be back when I want to.

When I find something worth fighting for.

He lowers the microphone and looks out at the crowd, some of these people he ended up alienating with what he’s done tonight. The boos are at war with the cheers, this external battle mirroring the internal battle being waged within these fans. Angel has drawn the line in the sand and while some have already made their decision on where they stand, it will take a while for the fans to sort through years’ of feeling before a choice is made. Without saying another word, Angel turns and walks away, not an uncommon sight, but after everything that was said tonight, this one hurts a little more than the rest.

Red Chocolate
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