March 12th, 2012
This is my fault. Everything I have complained about the past couple of years is my own doing. If it was just wrestling I could live with it. The business for as much as I love it is exactly that, a business. Itís just hard to keep your personal life separate from your profession when the spotlight never goes away. Iím not even one of the biggest stars, though I should be, even so the weight is often too heavy to bear. This journey is one I shouldnít be taking alone. The problem is that every companion Iíve had Iíve pushed away. There were a lot of hands that helped get me where I am today but Iíve slapped them away. One of my biggest regrets is how I tossed aside Jake Keeton. The man was a mentor and friend, and I let my head become to big. I wasnít smart enough to stick with his guidance, and I let my judgment become clouded. The choices Iíve made have molded me in a man I canít stand to look at. Like I said if it was just this business I would be alright, I would make it. It isnít. My hear it broken, shattered, empty. I canít go on without her, my one true love.
[The house of Ryan Shane doesnít feel much like a home lately. While never a luxurious palace it gave off a sense of warmth. You could tell it was built on love. Now there is nothing but a stinging cold that comes from much more than the cool wind that still blows this time of year. He hasnít been the same since she left, hell he isnít the man she fell in love with. Bitterness consumed him, and thatís all there was. It was all he could stay focused on. It wasnít until she left that his eyes were truly opened. He sits on the edge of the bed they shared and looks at a picture. Itís one they took on a vacation, one from a happier time. He wishes he could see her face smiling back on him. Instead he tears himself up inside because of how heís hurt her. At this moment, there is nothing left to live for.]
I love her. I always will. We were going to get married, start a family. How could I throw it all away? The best thing Iíve ever had, gone.
[He sets the photo down beside him, placing the frame outside down. He couldnít stand for her to see him this way. On the other side of him there is an assortment of various medications. Individually they all serve a helpful purpose, but together they become a deadly cocktail. This is the first time Ryan has found himself in this situation. It was only a few years ago when he almost died of an overdose, but he was spared. In that moment he felt reborn, renewed, chosen. That was the moment he knew he was meant for more, but never knew what it was going to be. He thought it meant he would be the next big thing in the PWA. It wasnít long after he battled with death that he faced Terminus and came out on top. His successes at that time werenít to be measure in championships. His prize would be love. A love lost, and with it hope extinguished.]
This must be Godís idea of a cruel joke. I should have been dead and gone, free from pain, free from hurt. Instead I sit here wishing it all ended that one night. Tonight is my second chance, one I wonít fail.
[It isnít without some trepidation that Ryan nervously opens the plastics bottles and dumps the contents into his hands. The amount of pills are to numerous to count. Each one an opportunity he will miss out, one for every unanswered call, or unreturned text message. One by one he places the pills into his mouth. Tonight Ryan Shane will die. This is something many have wished for, and most would say good riddance. Ryan Shane isnít worth a damn. There is only one thing that can save him now and it sure as hell isnít God.]
March 9th, 2012
Brian: Are you doing alright man?
[Ryan is startled by the voice and the hand that has tapped his right shoulder. His mind focused on thoughts they shouldnít be.]
Ryan Shane: Iím ok, right now anyway. It isnít getting any easier. I miss her, more than words can say.
[His cousin takes a seat across from him. The two are meeting for lunch at a small local restaurant. Ryan is grateful for the distraction.]
Ryan Shane: I donít want to talk about her.
Brian: Fair enough. Business then?
Ryan Shane: Iíd rather.
Brian: Big match coming up this week.
Ryan Shane: I guess so. I mean itís good to be on the PPV. In the past few months there hasnít been much stability and if I can pick up a win against someone like Howdy it might make my future a little more clear.
Brian: Captain Howdy is no small task. Donít worry about him though. If youíve been back on the training regimen you used to do your body should have no trouble keeping up.
Ryan Shane: It isnít my body I worried about. Itís my mind. Some days are better than others. I try to lose myself in my training to numb the pain but it doesnít always work. Howdy is a master at getting into peopleís head. The way that I am feeling, he might as well have me beaten already.
Brian: I understand youíre hurting. But you will get though it. She will realize deep down that youíre a great guy and she will come back.
Ryan Shane: Thatís the problem. Iím not a great guy, not ever close. Iím a selfish asshole. Iíve let hate and plots of revenge turn me into something I never wanted to me. I used to be a nice guy. I could separate myself from being in the ring. In my personal life I used to be just plain ole Ryan Shane, but now I am ďRight NowĒ Ryan Shane all the time. Do you know how humiliating it is to say that?
Brian: So change it. Thatís something only you can control.
Ryan Shane: Itís not easy. I feel like there is only one choice. I need to give up the dream of being a wrestler. Itís the only way to keep myself sane.
Brian: Then do it. Iíve walked away. Sometimes itís all you can do.
Ryan Shane: Iíve tried. Itís just hard to stay away. In the past few months I come and gone and people are taking notice, in a bad way. No one gives a damn about me because I donít stick around long enough to make an impact. Everything I do try fails, but I canít quit.
Brian: Not even if the costs are greater than you wish to pay?
Ryan Shane: I knowÖthatís why I feel so shitty about it. Thatís why Iím just staying focused on Captain Howdy and Driven By Hate, the best I can anyway.
Brian: Driven By Hate, I bet that rubs some people the wrong way.
Ryan Shane: Itís par for the course. Josh Cantrell has never done anything of note in the PWA and he comes back and gets a PPV named after him. Someone sees something in him, but by now I am used to people just coming in and getting everything I never did.
Brian: Donít blame Cantrell. I know him a bit. Heís not a bad guy. Heís just doing what we all do, trying to get a bigger piece of the pie.
Ryan Shane: So where is our waitress already?
[The rest of the meal Shane puts on a brave face, never quite letting his cousin know whatís really going on inside his head.]
I wish I could say it feels like old times. When I defeated Cross Recoba, I figured a weight would be lifted off of my shoulders. That was pretty stupid of me. How could I think one match could fix all that had gone wrong the past couple of months? It was a match I should have won. If you look back through history, everything pointed to me winning the match. Nothing was accomplished, nothing has changed. The fans have never respected what I could do, but in the past they would let me hear their disapproval. I donít even get the satisfaction of boos. Itís going to take more time to show them the error of their ways. Thatís fine by me, Iíve rededicated myself to becoming the presence in the PWA I was born to be. In the past few months Iíve learned a few things. There is no one who is going to see that Iím successful but me.
I was almost forced into retirement forever when I lost to Jack Gaither. There has never been a lower point in my career. Having hit rock bottom I figured I would be stuck grasping to climb my way back up, facing the new guys. That is usually humiliating for both of us. For me because no matter what has happened, I know I am better than some scrub fresh off the streets. They have it so much worse, because they have to face me. Itís never good to start off with a lose on your record. Instead of the bottom I was dropped somewhere in the middle rungs. Iím halfway between the top and the bottom, and depending on what I accomplish I could find myself going either way. If I ever want to fulfill my destiny I need to finally start my ascension.
Captain Howdy, when I first saw our match was cancelled at Violation 147 I was pissed off. In my eyes it was just another sign of the disrespect Iíve always had to deal with in the PWA. Then I realized it may have been a blessing in disguise. Itís clear that Iím not at the level I once was, put I am working at that. Itís a never ending grind, but I will do whatever it takes to finally claim my spot as one of the best. What that means for you Howdy is that Iíve been given more time to prepare, more time to fully develop a plan to make sure I walk out of Driven By Hate with a victory under my belt. I will have a bigger stage to remind people how talented I am. Beating Cross Recoba at Violation 146 was a given, and did nothing to peak anyoneís interest. Recoba is nothing more than a waste of space, nothing when it comes to the PWA. Howdy, youíre something special in the hearts and minds of the fans. Whether they love or hate you, the fans respect you. They know you are one of the best theyíve had the pleasure to see. I may scoff at your talent Howdy, but your track record says otherwise. You are indeed one of the most decorated wrestlers the PWA has ever had.
You donít have to look far to see your list of accomplishments Howdy. Youíre a former world champion, heel of the year, and have had the feud of the year. The problem with all those accomplishments, they are in the past. What have you done lately Howdy, why are you relevant. Even with my frequent breaks I still was able to capture a Premiere title reign. Youíre doing nothing but holding onto a thread, the same thread that has allowed you to last thing long. In all of your accomplishments there is still one you donít have, a win over Ryan Shane. Weíve only faced each other once before in a one on one match. That seems like forever ago, but let me jog your memory. The last time we fought I was almost unbeatable, and you couldnít hope to beat me. I didnít even have to hit a finisher to end the match. Thatís how good I was, and it proved how big of a fraud you were and always has been. That was your biggest year, 2008. It didnít change the fact you werenít better than me then, and youíre not better than me now.
The difference between us is simple. I am a real wrestler, talented and in great physical shape. Howdy, youíre nothing more than a novelty act. Youíve always filled a niche that the PWA has had. Most of the time, you were carried to respectability by guys like Jake Keeton and Terminus. While all three of you may have been world champions, something Iíve never done, Iím alright with that. The fewer distinctions I share with Jack Gaither the better. Captain Howdy youíre nothing more than a deranged mental patient. You have no real skill or talent. Sure, you can be dangerous, but most of the time itís to yourself. Iíve never feared you Howdy, youíve never gotten into my head. Now that youíre nothing but an empty shell of what you used to be there is no reason for fear. You used to be a monster, but youíve grown soft. No one wants to cheer for someone like you Howdy. You need to realize that, you need to know any compassion people show you it because they feel sorry for you. If the PWA wants to see a monster they will get an opportunity this week. I can be ruthless. I can be dangerous. I can be scary good. If thatís what it takes to get back on top, then I will do it.
We all want to get back on track Howdy. Youíre not special in that regard. Iím sure you see me as the perfect target to right whatever wayward ship youíre steering. Iím expecting a war Howdy, and I know what you can deliver. In another place and time we could be headlining a PPV named after me, yet another accomplishment you have over me. Instead we are going to have to just make due with being thrown on a split card. For most people this match is a throwaway, one in their eyes you will easily win. I know everyone has written me off. Thatís a mistake, and one I know youíre not making. I think we may be the only two who see this match as it really is, a measuring stick. The winner of this match is probably heading in the right direction, the loser? Well like I said, the PWA will always have a spot for you Howdy. I canít afford to talk in what ifs. Iím going to win this match, itís what I need to do. So Iím going to bring everything Iíve got and you do the same, because to steal your thunderÖplaytime is definitely over!
March 12th 2012 4:00am
[Itís late and though Ryan Shane has tried to keep a strict diet and training regimen, tonight he has slipped. Never a big drinker he spent most of the night trying to cope, to make himself forget how much it hurts. The rest of the night is a blur. He has no idea how he got home, and no clue who the brunette lying asleep in his bed is. Itís just another long line of mistakes he has made. He sits there unable to do anything but cry. His muffled sobs cause the woman next to him to stir. She is attractive, nothing special. One of those dime a dozen girls you find at a bar. She is also still quite drunk, and without inhibitions.]
Woman: Let mommy make it all betterÖ
[She begins to kiss him below the belt without going into detail and he is too weak to even stop her. It isnít long until the act is finished and she stumbles from the bed and heads for the bathroom wiping his lips with the back of her hand along the way.]
Ryan Shane: What the hell am I doing?
[The woman returns completely naked, discarding the t-shirt she was wearing before. Like ďHungryĒ Jack Swanson at an all you can eat buffet she is looking for seconds. This time Ryan has his wits about him and pushes her away.]
Ryan Shane: This is a mistake, you need to leave.
Woman: I will, in the morning. Letís just have some more fun.
Ryan Shane: You need to leave now!
[The raising of his voice causes her to back off a little.]
Ryan Shane: I said leave!
Woman: Itís four in the morning, how am I supposed to get home?
Ryan Shane: Walk, take a cab, I donít care. I just need you to leave.
Woman: Youíre a jerk you know that. I thought you were going to be fun. All you turned out to be was an asshole who cried during sex.
Ryan Shane: I never cried during sexÖit was after.
Woman: Well I am going to let everyone know, and tell them you have a small dick!
Ryan Shane: You can do whatever you want as long as you get the hell out of my house.
[The woman gathers her things and leaves. Ryan hands her some money, like she is nothing more than a prostitute. She didnít turn it down. His anger is directed at the wrong person. It isnít her fault he is in this situation. All she wanted was a good time, with a good looking guy. She didnít know the emotional baggage that was weighing him down. With her gone the crying hasnít stopped and Ryanís eyes have become red and have begun to sting.]
March 12, 2012
[Ryan sits there on his bed just moments away from eternal rest. In his mind he fights himself, trying to justify what he is doing. He tells himself itís the right thing to do, and that he canít ever hurt anyone again. His death may bring short term pain but in the long run, the world will be better off, she will be better off. Shane uncaps a bottle of water and delays taking a sip, giving fate every chance to intervene. As the liquid rushes past his lips he feels the vibration of his phone. Anxiously he checks to see who is calling and in that moment he spits the contents of his mouth onto the floor. There is still more to his story. He answers the phone.]
Ryan Shane: You saved meÖ