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 #1: Old Friends, New Enemies

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PostSubject: #1: Old Friends, New Enemies   Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:17 pm

“Here is your winner…Dom…DIBONNNAAA!”

Cosmo Cooper laid on the flat of his back looking up at the lights. It would be his last match with AWE, but not because he was quitting, because the company was coming to a sudden close. Funds had ran out, at least that was the reason that was given.

The match would mean a lot for Cosmo. It would be the first time he was really shut up for the first time. Weeks in advanced he had laughed and smirked when Dom said he would defeat Cosmo. Over and over again the bully poked and prodded the nice fella’ until finally the underdog had struck back and put Cosmo in his place—it was the first time the trash talk didn’t work, the first time his shoulders had been pinned to the ground professionally and the only time since then.

“It won’t be the last time either, Cosmo.” The older lady with the grey hair said as Cosmo sat at her bedside. The match had been weeks ago but it was still a sore spot with him. Dom had earned his respect, but the company was closed. It wasn’t like he could get Dom back, at least right now. “You’re going to lose matches, sweetheart. You may lose a bunch of them, but just always have the confidence that you’ll win the next match. That makes all of the difference.”

The flat bill Cosmo wore was turned backwards. The dress shirt he wore was short sleeved and purple with a pair of teal shorts on his bottom half and a pair of brown boat shoes rest on his feet as he looked down at them. This wasn’t how he had always visited his grandmother, but it was now that she was in the nursing home after a bad bout of surgery had costed her the use of her legs—for the time being.

“I know g-ma, it just…I’ve always been better than anyone I’ve stepped up against without even trying.” Pausing, he looked up from his shoes and then back up to his grandma who looked so frail as she laid there as he spoke. “On the bright side…I guess I opened some eyes because some of the other companies want to offer me a place to wrestle.”

In his hand, a rolled up piece of paper as his grandmothers head turned around to see the sheet of paper he held, she reached out for it and propped herself up a little further on the pillow. In the bed next to her was an even older woman hooked up to a ventilator which purred between the silences of their speech.

“Xtreme Honor Wrestling?”Grandmother said as he looked up from the paper and back up to Cosmo who had a satisfied smile on his face as he gave a nod and some of the hair he had pushed back shook with glee. “You better not be going up there to mess up that handsome face of yours. I always told you it reminded me if your grandpa Wystan.”

Even in her fragility, Cosmo thought everything about his grandmother screamed toughness. The way she spoke, the way she gripped his hand occasionally and the way she spoke about her late husband, a war veteran and a stand out athlete in his own right. It was not an accident that Cosmo was good at everything he tried, no, to him and his family it was a birth right given with he Cooper name.

“And here I thought you were going to be coming around to see me more than you were,” grandma Cooper added a little more sadly this time as Cosmo leaned across the bed and took her fragile hand. Smiling, Cosmo gripped it and she matched the grip.

“Don’t sweat it, gram. I fly out to Orlando for the show and I’ll be reporting right back here, as always.” His grandmother nodded. Knowing that it was his livelihood. Just like Cosmo, she was under the impression that Cosmo could do whatever he wanted and be successful at it. There was some faults in that argument, but for the most part Cosmo was pretty sought after in the wrestling business. “Plusss. I’m pretty sure I’ll be bringing back some gold when I come back and see you. And you better believe you’re taking a picture with it!”

Excitedly, Cosmo pulled his hand away from his grandma and laid it back in his lap as his knee bounced up and down. Faced with anxiety his entire life, Cosmo was constantly doing things with his hands, biting his fingernails and tapping his foot up and down. When the time came though, all of that went away when he stepped inside the wrestling ring. It was natural medicine.

“A title shot? In your first match! Well then, people must really been knocking your door down…I know you have to do what you have to do. I just miss you is all.” It was sad to hear, but that’s why Cosmo did what he did. Everyone who saw him away from this setting just thought he was the cocky jock you wanted to punch in the face in high school. They didn’t see this side, with him basically being a 30 year old child as he sat at his grandmothers bedside as he spent the last few years of her life in a place where she didn’t belong.

“Yeah, and it’s a tag title match! I’m pretty hype. Kaden Kessler is in the match. Dude has  competed all over the place. The other chick, Buffy Roxxon, never really heard of her but she’s…Determined.” Cosmo instantly thought of all of the times  Buffy had tweeted how she was going to win the match, Cosmo had always laughed at it. People like him just didn’t lose to wrestlers like that.

“Tag titles or not…I just know that while I have only been in this business on a professional scale for some time. I deserve to have gold around my waist. I don’t really care who I’ll win them with, and I’ll win it for you, gram…I’ve gotta’ go though.” Standing up, Cosmo leaned down and wrapped his arms around his fragile grandmother. Many moons ago he would have ran and jumped into his grandmother’s arms but now he could lift her up and over his shoulder if he wanted to.

“I love you and—-“ There was an interruption at the door. Cosmo just figured it was the nurses. Nobody ever came to visit the other older woman in the bed. A grin split onto the face of grandma Cosmo as she turned her head. “Trevor! How nice of you to come! Cosmo is here as well!”

Cosmo instantly went on guard as he balled his fists up. Trevor Miller was the guy who had helped him break into wrestling, helped him train in MMA and also got his foot in the door in AWE. XHW would be the first company they wouldn’t be in together—and for good reason. In GCW, Trevor had put Cosmo through a table for a title shot. The following week, Cosmo had returned the favor by bullying Trevor after his match and busting him open. They had a match coming up, but that was far from Cosmo’s head with his XHW debut looming.

Miller was the closest thing Cosmo had to a best friend. Trevor was dressed in his Sunday best with a bouquet of flowers in his hand, although he had a smile on his face. Trevor’s eyes never left Cosmo’s as the two stared at one another.

“Cosmo…Grandma Cooper!” Cosmo looked to his grandma to see how happy she was to see Trevor and then gave him a nod which allowed him to go over and hug his grandma. The two had been close for quite some time since Trevor started going with Cosmo to his visits with his grandma. “Good to see you.”

Trying to slip out to avoid confrontation with Trevor, and to focus on his XHW match, Cosmo waved behind his head, little did he know his grandmother had a smile on her face as she nodded to Trevor.

“Trevor, why don’t you walk Cosmo out?” Cosmo’s head snapped back as Trevor had paused mid hug. Older people just had a way of knowing when tensions were high. Neither of them were big enough men—even after their fights, to turn down Grandma Cooper. “Bring us back a championship, Cosmo, but regardless I am so proud of you and I’m sure your grandpa would be too.”

From across the room, Cosmo blew her a kiss as Trevor awkwardly walked over to Cosmo as the two nodded to one another and walked away from the room. Both of them kept their hands tucked in their pockets as they walked.

“So…Tag title match?” Trevor said as he looked over to Cosmo as they slowly trotted down the hallway of the nursing home. “Weird, huh?”

Cosmo nodded with a laugh.

“Dude, I know! Tag team title being introduced on the first show. It’s almost like this guy who is running the place read my mind,” Cosmo had always thought his first championship would have been a tag title. “It’s just weird, always thought my first tag title would be with you…Then…”

Trevor shook his head and held up his hand. All in all, Trevor was a good guy, his knowledge of professional wrestling knew no bounds and Cosmo always leaned on him for information.

“Look, we will deal with all of that shit in GCW. You’ve got a match with Buffy and Kessler.” Trevor looked back forward, these were usually the conversations they had on the road. “Kessler is a veteran, but he has thin skin. I’m sure you’ve seen how he acts on social media. Buffy has a big bark, but she doesn’t have any sort of a pedigree to lean on…”

Cosmo nodded quickly as they turned a corner as they headed out towards the parking lot. He kept guilty glancing up to the bandage on Trevor’s forehead, knowing he was the one who caused it.

“Exactly! That’s what I thought as well. She’s like this…Little gnat. I just want to flick her away but she just keeps showing up,” motioning around his face, Cosmo pretended he was flicking a fly or a gnat away. “She’s just like any other wrestler that claims to be some sort of deviant. Wants to be hardcore, wants to be some kind of Harley Quinn ass wrestler…”

Both Cosmo and Trevor rolled their eyes and then caught themselves scoffing at Buffy, the two shared a laugh as they pushed out of the doors to the nursing home and into the parking lot.

“Suicide Squad was probably the worst thing to happen to professional wrestling,” Trevor commented as Cosmo walked to his Corolla and unlocked it as he spun around to face his former tag partner.

“You’re not wrong. I’ll try and beat the senses back into her,” Cosmo said as he leaned one hand on the now open door and the other on the roof of his car. “She isn’t even that cute. She’s like the sort of chubby girl in high school that always acted like a slut to get attention…It isn’t a very good act. I’ve dealt with crazy…This bitch isn’t crazy, she lame.”

The duo shared another laugh.

Then, Kessler.” Cosmo and Trevor shared wide-eyed looks as if they didn’t really know where to start with someone like Kaden. “Dull as watching grass grow…I know AWE was filled with a bunch of hippies who just wanted peace and hugs, BUT Jesus…XHW just full of lames who, like, want to try and be way above what they are.”

Trevor narrowed his eyes.

“What is it you say all the time?” Trevor placed a hand on his chin, this is how close Trevor and Cosmo were, they could easily finish the thought either one had.

“If I could buy them for what they’re worth and sell them for what they think they’re worth I’d be rich? Yeah, Kaden definitely falls into that category…”

Silence fell between them. Soon they would be going against one another, soon it would be another war in GCW. In the meantime? They were friends, it was like normal.

“Until next time?” Trevor said as he extended his hand. Cosmo thought about it for a moment, then he extended his hand and took Trevor’s. “Good luck in XHW, Cosmo. Don’t let Kessler put you to sleep.”

Smiling, Cosmo nodded and got into his car and shut the door. For a lingering time he watched Trevor walk back towards the nursing home before Cosmo finally put it in drive and pulled away with a small sideways smile.

+++

“XHW…Fallout….A championship. Things that soon will be mentioned in the same sentence as those three? Cosmo Cooper…Buffy and Kaden may not know who I am, and I can’t blame them. Unlike Buffy, I don’t have to act like some sort of crazy person to get attention. People notice me when I walk through the door. I was a state champion wrestler, football player and basketball player in high school. Success is in my blood, and everything I’ve set out to do…I’ve been successful. In six short weeks I was on top in AWE, and guess what? XHW isn’t going to be any different.”

“It would be easy for me to think I’m going to breeze through this—and part of me thinks I should come in with that mindset. Buffy doesn’t impress me, Kaden has been in forty different companies to try and prove himself—yet you don’t hear anyone in the wrestling world talking about. Cosmo Cooper on the other hand? Cosmo Cooper comes with a namesake, you ask your peers about Cosmo and they know exactly who you’re talking about. I don’t just join companies like Kessler to try and get noticed and then fade off into ab oblivion. The competitive fire that burns? Some people like, don’t have that. Kessler is one of those dudes.”

“Cosmo Cooper is an alpha male. Kaden Kessler is a beta. I don’t step into the ring to be looked down on. I walk away leaving a lasting impression, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen when I step into the ring with Kessler. Nobody just calls Kaden a legend—I’ve asked around. You know your nickname is lame as hell when you have to give yourself the nickname. All of a sudden Kessler changes his name to Big Evil? Really, yo? You’re…Small…Wimpy…Skinny fat even. When I beat your ass and make you tap, what company are you going to show up in next? You see, eventually…People get tired of that, you get a reputation. I think you’re already there, Kaden. You’ve become a joke…You need a match like this WAY more than Buffy and I do, because hell…I don’t like her attitude but at least she has a little fire…You, Kess? Big Evil? You got nothin’. You’ll flame out here, and honestly if you last longer than a minute in ECWF, I’ll buy your plane tickets there for the next year.”

“Buffy, I need you to understand that talking trash on Twitter and putting it together in the ring aren’t the same things. Keep kicking and screaming to your 17 followers about how you’re going to win. Keep trying to get people to notice you. You know what gets you noticed? Being good at this wrestling thing. Not showing your body parts off. Do us all a favor, and, like keep all of that shit pinned up during our match. Being good looking…Which you’re not…Isn’t going to win you the match…Faking like you’re a character from a comic book isn’t going to win you the match. The wrestling world works a little differently than you think it does. You know as well as I do, this is more than one half of the tag team championships.”

“There’s more at stake here than just some gold. A point system is in effect. Any other time, I wouldn’t come into a match trying to stretch someone and beat them until they cried…But here I am. I don’t need to just beat you and Kessler. I need to make you both tap out. For me? This isn’t a survive just so I can get the gold sort of thing. I not only need to win this match, I need to tap you both out. Since you’re both kind of in the same delusional boat…Maybe you should be the tag champs together? I am looking at this like a handicap match.”

“You see, I’ve never been known for my smarts, but I know the stakes in this match…I don’t think either of you do. Everything is on the line, not just a tag belt. For me? That tag belt is just a distraction. If I can get a submission fall and then I somehow get pinned for the tag title? I still win, because I’d rather get those ten points. I’m playing the game…The game of GRAPS…”

“Buffy, you can keep running your trap on Twitter. Kessler you can keep dealing with whatever shit you’re dealing with…I’m not feeling sorry for you. This is my arrival. This is a chance for me to be the face of XHW…And I’m not going to let it pass by with some midget having a tag title belt around her waist. The story of XHW BEGINS and ENDS with Cosmo Cooper.”

“Out of Wulf, Ashley and Dillion? Whichever one of you LOSERS are lucky enough to team with me…Don’t sweat it…I’ll carry the weight. You think one of the people in this match are going to be able to do that? Nah…I was built for this moment…Now it’s time for me to own
it.”
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