Saturday, May 11, 2013

Monkey Flip: NOVA 5/11/13

Alex has just learned that Charlie Dawson will be performing at the Smokin’ Aces iPPV.  Considering how drastically his own fortunes have shifted in the last few weeks, or at least his perception of these fortunes, he should be happy.  He has every reason to be happy. He’s just survived the greatest trial of his greatest success and is now positioned better than he ever has before.  There were plenty of people talking about him before, but now there’s new excitement, new awareness, and a new level of acclaim that may be impossible to forget.  He’s established a legacy.  If nothing else, he’ll be able to live off the notoriety of the blood-stained match with Oliver Pine for years to come.

Except he doesn’t want that.  He’s a student of the craft.  And yet he’s just a student.  Charlie Dawson is a scion.  He was born into the craft.  His legacy was assured by two previous generations of stars in the ring.  What bothers Alex is that hardly anyone seems to understand what Charlie has been doing, how he’s been taking for granted all the privilege that’s been heaped at him.  It’s the green-eyed face of jealously staring Alex in the face.

The problem is, all the anxiety he faces is something Charlie will never know.  He’s been given and will continue to be given every shortcut there is.  Even if wrestling is an art where the fans dictate success, it’s the opportunities that are presented to Charlie without any effort that bother Alex.  Charlie wouldn’t have had to worry about losing his job.  Even if he had, he would have been hired with the same quality of assurance by someone else.

Alex knows that by any objective standard he has it better right now than Charlie.  Charlie has never been a permanently featured star of a major promotion.  He flits around the country grabbing headlines on a consistent basis, but he’s basically a glorified journeyman.  It doesn’t seem to concern him, though, that he’s billed as “the son of Steve Dawson!” or “the grandson of Cowboy Dawson!” because he knows he’ll get the fans interested even just on that, the stories he’ll share without caring who he shares them with, just a lot of anonymous faces to him.  Alex is the one who has to prove himself every day.  Charlie just has to show up.

It’s silly to be worrying about this.  Alex knows this.  They won’t even be in the same match.  Charlie will be in the tornado match, the match designed for stars like him, to show up and look good without having to engineer the whole thing himself, just let the chaos dazzle the fans.  He’ll just have to make sure he has memorable spots.  If he has any signature moves, really that’s all he has to do.  In a match like that, the fans just aren’t very critical about that.

Alex will sometimes think about that.  When a wrestler puts a whole match together of the same basic moves, fans will either love him or hate him for it.  That’s all Charlie does in his matches anyway, and for him it really is just going through the motions.  And in that sense, Alex finally finds a way to feel superior, not because he has an ego, but because he knows that of the two of them, he’s the one who loves what he’s doing, is wrestling because he’s driven, not because it’s an obligation.  He feels sorry for Charlie.  Imagine wanting the acclaim but having no idea how to get it, because you’ve taken everything for granted.

He’s glad that he doesn’t have to perform in those tornado matches.  For someone like Scotty, they’re perfect.  Scotty is completely free of ego.  He’s the ultimate wrestler’s wrestler, who will sell against anyone without giving it a second thought.  Sometimes the fans will take that for granted, but Scotty’s fine with that.  In any other promotion he’d be a jobber, but in NOVA there’s a match made just for him, and that’s why everyone in the locker room and the fans have realized how special it is.

Fortune is once again favoring the bold.  The card for Smokin’ Aces is filling up, a lot more matches, a lot more of the roster getting a chance to perform.  That’s going to help with Alex’s return match against Oliver.  With less pressure, he won’t have as much of the burden.  Most of it will sell itself.  He just needs to make Oliver look good.  He’s finding himself consulting Scotty a lot these days.  Usually they’ll just let each other follow their separate instincts.  This is a special occasion.  Besides, Scotty will be in that match with Charlie.  He’s got the tornado championship again.  It’s all about making someone else look good.

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