Blog: Icarus (6.15.18)

After a particularly brutal loss my high school wrestling coach gathered everyone in the locker room and gave a speech I will never forget. Standing before us he declared “We are not losers. In every contest there are only winners and learners. Tonight we all learned something.”

Looking around the room at my teammates I knew that the coach I had looked up to and admired all season was simply too soft to ever give me another life lesson. When I looked at my teammates, I realized that most if not all of them were too proud, too arrogant, and too soft to learn anything from defeat. It wasn’t just that night, but those kids at my side had always been, and would always be losers. Since that day, I’ve made it my objective in life to spot people like that...and quickly dispose of them.

As way leads on to way, I come to find my entire adult life in not just professional wrestling but particularly CHIKARA. There, I found my life objective not only grew, but intensified, as I took pride in the people I was surrounded by. Having met some like-minded people, we were intent on weeding out the losers and sending them packing with their heads hung low and their tails between their legs.

I can still recall the night I sat knees-to-knees with one Mr. Gran Akuma, taping up our wrists as the smell of crockpot hotdogs filled the room, discussing our plans for the two newest additions to the roster. They needed to be tested, they needed to earn their seat at the table. That night, Akuma and I went toe-to-toe with the new rookies calling themselves The Colony. Did they earn our respect that particular night? No. Not by a long shot. But as time went on, we saw two ants that never backed down. Two ants who got back up and fought - time and time again. Two ants who weren’t soft, or weak, but just needed the right push to make them into warriors.

Now I know you remember those days just as well, if not better than I do, Fire Ant. I know your body, mind and soul have been damaged in ways you don’t care to talk about after enduring all the years of trials and tribulations. Years of sacrifice. Years of loss. Most of all, I know that when you look at these new graduates of our Wrestle Factory, the ones coming out of the same system that bred you and I, you see how weak and unworthy they are. There's no way you can look at them without feeling all your pain, and all that damage you’ve endured over the years, raging up like a boiling cauldron inside you.

The way I see it Fire Ant, you’ve always stood up for what is just and right. Quite frankly, your integrity has been an inspiration to not just myself but everyone in the locker room over the many years. Don’t forget that. Don’t lose sight of that. Do what’s right. When it came time to rid CHIKARA of an invading army, you stood by my side. Now, the threat isn’t coming from the outside, it’s right under our feet. It’s spilling out of OUR locker room, tarnishing the reputation and the legacy you and I built. Who has the maturity and the skill set to stop them?