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 Never Welcome

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PostSubject: Never Welcome   Fri May 19, 2017 4:23 am

Ya'll don't really even know what you're aiming at
So far back what'cha waving at
Ya'll can't see the stage that I'm playing at

+++

As years passed, senior classes came and went at Santa Rosa High School. The current class of 2017 probably only had a small inkling of who Cosmo Cooper was. As much as wrestlers wanted to pretend that they were rich and famous, driving limousines and jets wherever they went because they were just that rich and popular—wrestling was a niche sport. It was possible a few of the nerdy kids knew who Cosmo was, but the mast majority of the school really didn’t know.

While Hell From Above approached, something else had been picking at Cosmo. It wasn’t just the title match, it was being asked to speak at graduation for the class of 2017. Never in a million years would he have thought anyone would ask him to speak. Cooper could barely get out a sentence with out an “uh” or “like” or “you know” just every single cardinal sin you could make while public speaking.

Upon being asked, Cosmo had to agree. But then he had to rack his brain for what to tell a bunch of high school students. Grandma Cooper attempted to give him some words of wisdom when he went to visit her with his title match on the horizon.

“You should say whatever is on your heart, Cosmo.” G-Ma Cooper said. Things had been going well with her. Psychical therapy was becoming a regular thing and a lot of the nurses was hopeful that she was on the right track to go home. Something Cosmo hadn’t heard since she was downed with a surgery in November. It made him hopeful, and brightened his spirits for the  big match that was quickly approaching. “You’ve always been good with that smart mouth of yours.”

That was a negative connotation, meaning that Cosmo usually popped off and was quick to argue most of the time.

“Well, if I’m saying what’s on my heart right now,” Cosmo had trailed off as he held his grandmothers frail hand in his own as he thought about it for a moment. “I would talk about how Ashley Williams and Sapphire are a couple of scam artists who shouldn’t be in this title match with me.”

With the activity, his grandmother had began to get some of her wit back. Even rolling her eyes when Cosmo spoke.

“I’m not sure they want to hear you talk about your match,” Grandma Cooper spoke softly as she rubbed her thumb atop the hand of Cosmo’s. “Just tell them what the school meant to you. How much you appreciated every moment. How that has set you up for the title opportunity. Also, are you going to wear that darn title around your neck?”

Grandma Cooper often fussed over Cosmo’s appearance, it had taken her a long time to come to grips with his long hair after he had gone nearly his whole life with a short buzz cut. Now the long brown hair fell past his shoulders and was long enough for him to do dreads and do all sorts of ridiculous things to.

“I’m not going to wear the title around my neck.”

Cosmo wore the belt around his neck.

The suit he had on was one he had bought in anticipation. Anticipation that he would become XHW World Champion, and it would be the suit that he would come out in the very first time when he had that belt around his shoulder. That’s how sure he was that he was walking away with the championship.

Somewhere a door opened and a man in a suit stuck his head out as Cosmo examined one of the trophy cases, bringing his hand longingly up to the glass as he relived those glory days in his head. They were a lot like what he was experiencing now.

“About five minutes, Wyst—-Sorry….Cosmo. Old habits.” The white haired man’s mustache seemed to smile along with his mouth as Cosmo gave him a little salute and then scowled as he walked away.  The superintendent had been there longer than Cosmo could remember. The older, wiry man was just as energetic this morning as he was when Cosmo remembered him all those years ago.

Cosmo hated to be called Wystan.

Waiting was the worst part when you were about to give a big speech, but Cosmo was using the time to take a walk down memory lane. Success had really followed him. As he walked and let his hand trail along the glass. More often than not he would catch his name on a trophy.

The school from a sports standpoint had always been very competitive, but never really at the state level until the four years Cosmo was there. Since then they hadn’t been as good, but still respectable. That was another thing he had going for him going into the speech. A lot of the sports teams would know who he was because of how many records he and his team held over the years.

Sapphire and Ashley? It was hard to say if they had ever had that success. If they had? Cosmo imagined they were stretching the truth. Just like how Ashley claimed she was such a great wrestler and Cosmo would never be able to beat her.

What a joke.

As the door that the white haired man had opened up again, Cosmo knew it was his time to walk out onto the stage with the rest of the administration. Turning once more, he looked at himself in the glass which held the trophies with his name on them and managed to straighten the purple tie which matched his violet suit jacket and matching pants. With a heavy sigh, he walked towards the door and slid into it.

The student body was already seated as the teachers entered. There were a few cat-calls and hoots and yells for the students favorite teachers.

Then Cosmo Cooper appeared on stage with the rest of the administration. He had expected some type of polite applause when he walked out for the first time. Maybe a few laughs with the way the GCW Legacy Championship was around his neck like some kind of heavy scarf, but what met him was a lot louder.

With one sweep, the entire student body rose to it’s feet. Cosmo actually had to look around to make sure the students were cheering for him and then the “wrestler” kicked in. With all of the attention locked on him, he smirked and unhooked the title and stood on the front of the stage and held the title in the air. A rousing cheer from around the gym met his ears, and that’s when he realized.

Cosmo was wanted.

The XHW crowds had not been so kind, and neither had the locker room, but Cosmo had never felt at home in GCW either. Sure, he could find a few fans that would cheer for him. Every now and then he saw a sign, many of them come up after his match to take a picture, but whoever was across from him was usually the crowd favorite.

Cosmo was never welcome. XHW was probably happy and welcomed someone as talented as him into their ranks, but the scowls from the wrestlers. The constant battering of his character that he brushed off like a lint ball on his shoulder. For a while it bothered him, but he learned that people didn’t trash talk losers or people who they didn’t see as a threat.

That’s why the whole XHW locker room was after him.

That’s why the entire school system of Santa Rosa High School cheered him, the hometown hero. Just like it had been all those years ago.

It probably felt like an eternity to the students, sitting in hot cap and gowns below him in those uncomfortable chairs. It was no time until Cosmo was hearing his accolades being read off. With each one, cheers. With each accolade, Cosmo relived that moment in his head. With each memory, it made him hungry. Hungry to create another memory Sunday at Hell From Above.

“Without further ado…Class of 2006…Wystan…Cosmo…Cooper!”

Adorned with a cocky smirk, Cosmo made his way up to the microphone and leaned down.

“Yooooo!”


+++

“Amazing.”

“Just amazing that two people who call themselves wrestlers can’t bother to let their face be seen leading up to a match besides a few snide Twitter comments. Amazing that they hide behind excuses and crying laughing emojis on Twitter. Amazing that they think they stand on solid ground when in reality it’s sand slowly seeping away to reveal the grim reality that they aren’t as good as they say they are.”

“Amazing that, if anyone on the outside looking in on this match—if they didn’t look at the card they would just think I’m in this match by myself and nobody stands in my way. From the beginning I’ve called people on their bluff. I knocked Wulf down all the way to the second tier division because I knew he was a fraud. I made Sapphire wear the egg on her face. I exposed Buffy Raccoon to be a fake.”

“Amazing that nobody wants to give me an ounce of credit for what I’ve done, because I am what I say I am. I do what I say I’m going to do. There ain’t a damn one of you that isn’t going to take this grin off of my face.”

“What? Is it a game to you? Look, this entire roster wants to frame me as the bad guy. Yet, I’m the one out here promoting the match on social media every chance I get, and you can’t be bothered to mention but you can sure toss a “Women Respect Wednesday” or whatever the hell at your lesbian lover. You can take time out of your day to pull your phone out and say that I don’t have any balls when I already have a promotional that’s out there in the open for you to look at, for you to rebuttal, for you to take every little word in a notebook and break them down and then respond. I gave you ALL of the time in the world, Ashley.”

“Yeah, it’s me though who doesn’t have any balls. It’s me who you portray as the bad guy, and you as the good guy because you come into matches week after week down on your knees blowing whoever you have next. I don’t give a damn about respecting whoever is across from me. There is only ONE goal. It isn’t to get your respect, Ashley. It isn’t to get you to like me—hell. If winning and staying undefeated in XHW means that nobody is going to like me? If it means I’m painted as the villain while idiots like you, Sapphire and Wulf are painted as heroes?”


Cooper opened his arms.

“Then I’ll be your damn villain! I’ll be the guy you can use to make excuses when you lose. I know the other two people in this match won’t give me the credit. They’d rather make me look like the bad guy because I’m head and shoulders better than them than facing the truth. Sapphire didn’t lose two weeks ago because I cheated—she lost because I was better than her. I had more skill, I had better genetics because I was BORN to be in the ring and I was BORN to be better than Sapphire. Wrestlers like Sapphire was born to piggy-back off of better wrestlers like me…”

“It’s better to be hated than loved when it comes to professional wrestling. Other wrestlers don’t love other successful wrestlers—it’s because their jealous. Sure, everyone laughs when Ashley Williams tells a joke, and she may be more well liked in this business than I am, but guess what? The only thing she has proven stepping into an XHW ring is that she’s living in a little fantasy land over in DARC—she isn’t being challenged and she isn’t pushing herself to be better. People go out of their way to hate me because I am the best in any arena I step in.”

“I get bad looks because of the way I carry myself. I get bad looks because I am a champion, and I get vilified because I’ll do whatever it takes to win a match. That means cheating to you snowflakes. That means surviving in my vocabulary. To you, I’m the bad guy. To people on the outside looking in? I’m the only damn thing worth respecting in this place. I’m the guy who people tune in to see. I’m the guy that moves the needle. I’m the guy who is shouldering the weight of this company on it’s back. I’m picking up each and every one of your slack as we head into Hell From Above…And that should light a fire under each and every one of you, especially Ashley Williams and Sapphire…”


His shoulders lifted in a gentle shrug.

“Alas, it won’t. Perpetual losers. Born into second place, and I don’t really think you ever had a choice to do anything differently. But I get it, people react to being held down in different ways. You see, if I were in your shoes? I’d be doing whatever I could to get on top here in XHW. A new company? Trying to find it’s identity? I saw a chance, I took a risk, I dared to fail as an unproven wrestler from AWE and guess what? It paid off. I came here hungry, I came here starved…Sapphire and Ashley came here satisfied, they came here expecting to have the world handed to them because of what they look like or what they’ve done before.”

“Look, I’m not going to play the innocent one either and act like I shouldn’t have everything handed to me. Hell, if I was the XHW owner and board? As soon as I signed the contract I would have handed Cosmo Cooper the title and I would have had myself defend it on the first show. It’s a slap in the face that they would even give someone as lazy as you two the chance—but guess what? I didn’t let it cripple my ability. I didn’t let it go to my head. I just came in and kept my head down and I had the grit to make it all the way to the top, and all the way into the first ever XHW title match.”

“The fact that I’ve not heard from either one of you, besides a little bit of banter on Twitter? That’s not a slap in the face to me, or disrespecting me. That’s disrespecting everything this company is trying to build. That is spitting in the face of fans who want to come out and see a war. That’s disrespecting the board that has worked so hard to put this together. But yeah! Okay! Cosmo Cooper is the bad guy! He’s a real bad cheater! He cheats to win all of those ladder matches! You’re all a bunch of broken record, diaper wearing, no-talent hacks wearing the mask of a professional wrestler.”

“This isn’t my first rodeo at being the best at something. Trust me, I know that that feels like. But this is a chance for me to put my name on something for the first time. Just like I was the first ever solo Medal of Honor holder—I’m going to be the first XHW World Champion—and that’s something nobody can take away from me. Not Ashley or Sapphire. Not anyone else on the roster. You’ll be forced to respect me. I don’t care if I lose the belt the very next night…Well…”


Cosmo thought about this statement for a moment.

“I do care, but the point being even if I lost the belt the night after I won it? I would still be the first ever champion. There can only be one of those, there can’t be a co-holder. There’s no sharing that. No matter how much you hate me, no matter how much you despise me…Every time you think about XHW…Cosmo Cooper’s name will be attached to it. I know how bad that would eat me inside…Does it eat you both up? Does it bother you?”

“Or are you more worried about trivial things. Nobody is going to remember a #WCW or #WRW or #WWCCWWRRTEE or whatever it is. Nobody is going to remember a funny little joke you made on Twitter. Nobody is going to remember a work out selfie. They’re going to remember who the first XHW World Champion was. They’re going to remember…Cosmo Cooper.”

“Ashley, I’m going to make sure after this match that there’s no excuses for you. Nothing to hide behind. I’m going to show you I have balls alright. While you’re down, and whining and crying and saying I somehow bent the rules to win a championship in a Hell From Above match, where again, the literal only rule is to climb the cage and the ladder to retrieve the title. When you’re throwing your little tantrum, I’ll bring the title down and let you get a good look at it and then I’ll give you a tea-bag. Then I’ll ask you about what kind of balls I have, because they’ll be championship balls.”


It was an odd concept that even Cosmo couldn’t suppress a laugh.

“More importantly, I want to speak directly to you for a second, Sapphire. I’ve still been thinking about what I said last time. About how you could have let me get destroyed last week, but you didn’t. Instead? You warned me, and sure you may have been worried about your points but something stopped you before our match. I want to offer you something…I want to offer you to stop playing in the trash. Stop enabling people like Ashley. Stop giving her the respect she doesn’t deserve…Don’t fall into that trap, and I’m not talking down to to you here, but look…I see potential.”

“Obviously, I know it’s a hard pill to swallow to know that I’m not going to beat you once, but I’m going to beat you twice and this time it’s going to be for a championship. I know someone with those muscles and that ego can only take so much…So I’m going to propose something to you. I’m going to be the bigger man here, and I’m going to speak to you and nobody else, so pay close attention.”


Cosmo brought his hand up to cover up one side of his mouth like he was whispering something to Sapphire, but obviously everyone tuned in could ear so he only kept up the charade for a moment.

“Virginia Stone, the moment you show that you’re better than the pathetic losers that inhabit this company. The minute you leave people like Ashley in the dust…They’re going to turn on you. You think respect is more than just a word tossed around in a promo? You don’t owe them anything, you don’t owe these people anything. You do owe me for even coming CLOSE to being in this match. For deciding to align with you—or at least deciding to stick with you until there was only a few of us remaining.”

“Sure, last Fallout, you got the better of me. But I see a lot of you in myself. I see someone who is genetically superior. I see what you can be Virginia, and you’re not going to be what you’re capable of by just cruising along and hoping for the best, because if you’re waiting for me to slip up? You’re going to be waiting a long ass time.”

“I trusted you, Virginia. Now isn’t it your turn to trust me? You and I…We are the type of people that don’t need weaklings like Ashley Williams in our way or in our lives…Let’s change that at Hell From Above…You and I…We dispose of the one that don’t belong first…And then we decide who is going to climb that cage and that ladder…And who knows…It could be the beginning of the a great friendship.”


Giving a sly wink, Cosmo clicked his tongue.

“Think about me…And get back to me…Hell, maybe it’ll inspire you to show up and actually promote the match sometime this year…Regardless of what you decide. Sapphy…Williams…You should both know…I’m Cosmo Cooper…And I’m…Just…Better.”

+++

I don't need their blessing now
I don't need their invitation
Ain't no way to shut me down
Or to take this path I've taken
And maybe I've been left out
But never let this be mistaken
They can keep their blessing now
Forget me now
'Cause I was never welcome
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