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Usually, when an athlete prepares for a major event, they try not to have anything interrupt their training. They don't want to lose their mental focus on what's ahead.

Think about it...

In the National Football League, the schedule always has the "All-Star Game" coming after the Super Bowl, or ultimately when those who are playing in the Super Bowl have been decided, and thus not have to participate in said "All-Star Game." Their reasoning? Well, it's ultimately two separate reasons, according to the NFL. For one, it's a contact sport, and they don't want to risk injury. They put it at the end of the season hoping more players will participate, and drive up ratings. When players began sitting out, stating they didn't want to play once the playoffs were over, they decided to try putting it before the Super Bowl, in the off-week period.

Success?

Financially, yes. Financially, they sold more tickets than normal, but the downside was having even more "selected" players sit and opt out of the game, and ultimately it went from being the, quote, "All-Star Game," to becoming a game of players who agreed to actually play.

Why though?

It's simple... After the season is over, players are done with football for a few weeks. They return home, and spend time with their families. Before the Super Bowl, all but two teams care about playing anymore.

In wrestling... It's similar.

When wrestlers are gearing up for, what could ultimately be, their most important match of their career or tenure, the last thing they want is something that might veer them off course immediately before that match. And it's the case in Supreme Championship Wrestling for two of its most recognizable stars.

Rise to Greatness marks a day where Greg Cherry could become the SCW World Champion, and Jake Starr could give Josh Hudson the most embarrassing "send off" in wrestling history. But unfortunately, before either can focus on the more important matter, they must first focus on one another. That's right... At Breakdown Jake Starr and Greg Cherry face one another one on one, and then have to shift their focus back to their massive match ups at the upcoming pay-per view.

Along with Greg Cherry and Josh Hudson, Jake faces a third battle, which he knows procrastinating a face to face showdown with is not the right idea, yet he has continued to take that approach. That battle is one addressed when he last sat down with his counseling psychologist, Dr. Collier. The two talked about Jake taking the time to legitimately find the AWOL Brandon Evans, and try and explain Jake's concerns, and progression away from the old times of the Social Misfits. Dr. Collier believes it's Jake's internal desire to keep what "once was" alive that has fueled the nightmares.

Since meeting with Dr. Collier, and hearing his suggestions, Jake has returned to his home only to fight the internal battle of "to call or not to call" Brandon, and ultimately drive himself into a more sleep-deprived state. It's something his wife, Roeper, is having a more and more difficult time watching. Since he has gotten home, and heard what Dr. Collier said and recommended, she's been continually urging him to see the suggestions through. She sees the worry and the concern on her husband's face, but knows that in the end, it will all be worth it.

Even though she's tried to get Jake to make the call, she's had no luck. She's elected to bring in reinforcements to help try and get through to her tormented husband, with the hopes that an "outside voice" might help him realize the necessity.

As Jake sits, alone, at the couple's kitchen table, the look of worry, confusion, and reluctance is evident. His breaths are deep, and his exhales are fully audible. In his hands he holds his phone, and has his eyes fixed on it. He begins to spin it between his fingers, then wiping the fingerprints from the screen. After several moments, he clicks the "Home" button, and unlocks the screen.

As the display changes from the locked screen, to the unlocked screen, his contacts immediately appear. He scrolls down to the name of Brandon Evans, and clicks the contact. It sweeps off the screen, and the contact information is displayed. He hovers his thumb over it, and begins to think about pushing the number to call. After much hesitation, he locks the screen back, and begins to simply triwl it in his hands.

From behind Jake, emerges Roeper, and long time friend, Shawn Wright. Roeper hopes Shawn will be able to convince Jake to move forward with the doctor's instructions quicker, hoping it'll trigger Jake to do so...

Roeper Hart: Have you made the call yet?

Completely unaware they had entered, Jake is startled by Roeper's voice, and clumsily drops his phone on the table. He looks up at Roeper, and then is shocked to see Shawn there as well.

Jake Starr: Hey Shawn... When did you get here?

Shawn Wright: Just now... Roeper called me...

Jake sighs, realizing his wife's goal.

Jake Starr: Oh...

Roeper and Shawn both go and sit across the table from Jake. Roeper looks down at Jake's phone on the table, and motions toward it with her head.

Roeper Hart: So... Made the call yet?

As a sign of his nerves and hesitation to respond, he reverts to an old "tick" he had as a youth, and begin biting on the inside of his lip.

Roeper continues to stare at her husband, and expect an answer, and after some hesitation, Jake finally responds...

Jake Starr: No... No I haven't...

Roeper sighs audibly, frustrated he still hasnít taken that step.

Roeper Hart: Why not?

Jake shrugs.

Jake Starr: I don't know...

Roeper Hart: Are you nervous?

Jake wipes his eyes, showing signs of the sleep depravation.

Jake Starr: Honestly... Probably...

Roeper Hart: Probably?

Jake Starr: Yeah... I probably am nervous about the whole thing?

Roeper Hart: Do you have any real reason to be nervous?

Jake shrugs again.

Jake Starr: I... I don't think so... But honestly, who knows?

Roeper again shows signs of frustration in her husband.

Roeper Hart: Babe... Please call Brandon...

Jake looks down at his phone, but doesn't move a muscle. His hands remain inches from it, but don't go any closer.

Roeper Hart: Would you like me to call him?

Jake Starr: No... I need to be the one to do it... Nobody else...

Roeper Hart: Well then do it babe!

All Jake can do is shrug again.

Roeper Hart: Ok... Listen babe, I'm just going to be straight-forward with you. If you don't call Brandon before next weekend, I'm calling him, finding him, and bringing him here to sit down and clear this all up with you. I'm tired of seeing you like this, and I know you're simply tired. It's time you two hash this out, and hopefully get some closure, and be done with these nightmares.

Jake is still obviously timid with the whole idea, and it's obvious through his body language.

Jake Starr: Maybe... Maybe I should just text him...

Jake reaches out for his phone, making it seem like he's making an attempt to make contact. Roeper quickly puts her hand over the phone, preventing Jake from picking it up.

Roeper Hart: No... No texting...

Shawn finally chimes in, realizing his friend's attempt to find a way around the aspect of the "phone call."

Shawn Wright: Jake... You need to call him...

Jake looks up from the table, where he was staring at his phone being held down by his wife. He looks at Shawn with a look of worry upon his face.

Roeper rubs her pregnant belly, and makes a face of mild discomfort.

Roeper Hart: Guys, if you'd excuse me, I have some personal, feminine issues to tend to...

Jake looks at Roeper as she stand up.

Jake Starr: You ok?

She quickly nods, telling Jake it's not a big deal at all. Trusting Roeper, Jake reluctantly looks back at Shawn, then quickly looks back down at his phone on the table.

Shawn Wright: Alright dude, listen... I know this is a real sh!tty situation. I know you well enough to know you want this whole thing to be resolved, and hell, we don't even know if this call is the root cause of it. All we know is that the doctor thinks that, regardless of if this solves the issues with the nightmares, it'll be something you need personally.

Jake takes a deep and drawn out breath.

Jake Starr: I'm just concerned about the awkwardness of this call...

Shawn Wright: Dude... We both know what Brandon is like. He's always been this way. He'll come help, then, much like someone with severe ADD, his mind shifts to something else, and he goes with it. He's really flaky about everything, but it's one of those things that is time to end.

You have to understand, I've accepted our run as the Social Misfits has come to the end. It was a time where we, as a collective group, knew the consequences of our actions, and what we wanted to do. But, like my career in wrestling, I know it's done. I heard it from your mouth. I knew it was done. Brandon didn't, and I think part of you thinks the two of you are still the two Misfits left standing...

And also, Roeper's right... You need to do this just in the hopes it helps you get SOME sleep. Getting none is going to screw you physically, mentally, and emotionally man...

Jake begins to lightly nod his head.

Jake Starr: I know...

Shawn Wright: Then why are you afraid to do it bro?

Jake looks around, assuring himself that Roeper has left the room.

Jake Starr: I... I guess you're right...

Shawn Wright: About what?

Jake Starr: I guess part of me still has a little hope...

Shawn is puzzled.

Shawn Wright: A little hope about what?

Jake Starr: I guess part of me still hopes the Misfits could truly rise again.

Shawn tilts his head to the side, and gives Jake a look showing him he doesn't buy the story.

Jake Starr: ... I mean I guess that's the only explanation I can think of.

Shawn Wright: You know... Maybe it's the simple fact that you're partially scared to fully move on. Maybe since it's been all you're used to, and all you've known over the past 7 or 8 years, it's what you're comfortable with, and you're worried about "moving on" yourself.

Jake Starr: But wasn't I the one who ended it?

Shawn Wright: Yeah... Because you knew it was time, but apparently you haven't had your full closure.

Jake shrugs again.

Shawn Wright: How about this dude... Just promise you'll make the call like Roeper and the doctor want. You know, and I know, it's the best thing for right now.

Jake's head sulks down.

Jake Starr: Ok... Before next weekend... I'll do it...

Shawn Wright: I trust you bro... I know it's not easy, and it's not something you're looking forward to, but, when all is said and done, we'll all begin our new chapter together. Hell... Maybe then you'll be able to come up with a name for your new crew!

Jake actually lets out a slight chuckle, and Shawn stands up. He walks by his friend, and pats him on the shoulder, and walks out of frame. The scene slowly begins to fade to black with Jake looking back at his phone sitting on the table, and he begins to twirl it once again. He hopes that his nerves calm down enough to make the call, and make it as painless as possible. He knows his wife has given him a deadline, and he plans meeting it. But deep down inside he knows if he doesn't make this call, it could have a long-term effect on him that impacts his life in ways he wishes to avoid.

Jake Starr: Dare I say that the "powers that be" ultimately have a personal agenda they're trying to get across? Or is it that they are simply aware of the raw abilities of Jake Starr, and realize putting me on as many shows as possible equals ratings and revenue? Whatever the case, I'm glad I at least know I'm capable of handling the strain and the grind of this industry...

... Why, you ask?

Simple...

See, a couple of nights ago I went to bed thinking, "you know, I bet this next Breakdown is going to hype the hell out of the major matches for Rise to Greatness, and they'll want us to be 100% ready!"

WRONG!

Instead, I wake up only to find out they've given Hudson a free pass, a night off, a day of rest, a day on the beach, call it what you will, he gets to focus solely on Rise to Greatness. He, instead of being forced to step up, like a true "pure wrestler" and "glorious talent" would, he's coddled.

Fine... Let it be that way...

Instead of extending the same courtesy to me, however, they decide it would be better to send me into the lion's den again, and make sure I earn my way back to greatness. Those "in command" either fear another ascension by Jake Starr, or feel they're helping enlighten the world as to why they've happened in the first place. They could, very well believe, that Jake Starr is the most reliable, the most consistent, the most spectacular, and the most revenue/ratings-generating star on the roster.

... And if the latter part of that is true, good for them...

... But if it's the earlier, they're in for yet another disappointment on behalf of the true Social Misfit...

Breakdown marks a little speed bump in my path to Rise to Greatness, and ultimately to the final embarrassment of Josh Hudson. It marks an event that has been months in the making. It marks... Well...

... The third encounter...

... The rubber match...

... The tiebreaker...

... The deciding encounter...

... Who's truly superior...

... Yes, Breakdown marks the night when Jake Starr and Greg Cherry finally settle a score, and determine who reigns supreme. Now, with that being said, some may say this isn't a rubber match, or a tiebreaker. Some may argue that the 2 for 1 Special might have been that match. Some might argue that when he was included in my World Title match with Thorn, that was the match that broke the tie.

They're all wrong.

A true "rubber match" is a repeat of the same battle. In the first encounter, it was Gregglypuff (as Thorn so wonderfully came up with) who protected his ONE coveted honor in SCW, and defeated me for the Adrenaline Championship. He ended a reign of 284 consecutive days being champion, and kept me from his precious 294 day record. The second match, he was determined to do the same thing with my World Championship. The second time wasn't so successful. I wasn't about to have two consecutive title losses to that walking piece of fat and gristle... And since his one defeat of me to briefly claim the Adrenaline Championship, he's been unsuccessful in emerging victorious in ANY match including me.

So THIS MATCH... Marks our "rubber match."

The both of us have a lot riding on the line with this match. We both have a lot to gain, and much to lose. We both know this match is a springboard of momentum going into Rise to Greatness. Greg looks at me and sees someone who, if he defeats, will launch him into Rise to Greatness with enough momentum to give him a true chance to become the SCW World Champion. He knows that if he beats Jake Starr, it'll send a distinct message to Thorn showing he's more than prepared for their encounter. A loss, however, will put him in a position where he knows he'll be fighting from behind. He knows Thorn achieved the almighty pin fall in the match with Hudson, Davis, and myself, to become the World Champion, and if he, Cherry, isn't able to beat ONE of those three men, he's become an even bigger underdog than he may have already been.

Then there's me. This match, while I believe ultimately does put Thorn and Hudson both in prime positions, is a must-win for me. No questions asked. It's a match I must emerge victorious in. Why? Simple. A win for me would show Hudson that nothing, no matter how talented, how proven, how heavy or bulbous the opponent is, I'm ready, willing, and able to plow through them with ease. If Hudson sees me beat Greg, even with Rise to Greatness looming, he'll know nothing can distract me. He'll know it's not something that can throw me off. He'll know I'm prepared for anyone, and anything!

Another reason it's a must win is because of what he did to David Helms. Granted, he didn't mutilate him, maul him, rape him, bludgeon him or anything like that. He just beat him. He beat a member of the fraternal order I'm proud to belong to. And that is something none of us can stand or tolerate. Cherry's riding high, right now, thinking he's got the number of our brethren. He believes he can defeat us, and that's not something I'm willing to stand for. I'm not willing to let him beat Helms, beat me, and subsequently think he can beat Thorn. Our bond between us is one where we will fight together, bleed together, and ultimately emerge victorious TOGETHER.

But if I lose, then it's a different story all together...

And it's not a good bedtimey story either...

If I lose to Cherry, and go into Rise to Greatness on a loss, rather than a win, it will mentally put me somewhere I don't think I can emerge from, and I'll admit that freely. Emotionally, walking into Rise to Greatness on a loss would be disheartening. It would tell me I'm incapable of being at the caliber I once was. See, before, when I was a champion, I could take fights any day, any time, any place, and it wasn't an issue. Now, with no championship, and a man breathing down my neck, claiming I'm "broken," makes it something I'd even begin to question.

Hudson would love it. He'd love knowing I fell to Greg Cherry right before Rise to Greatness. I wouldn't hear the end of it. I wouldn't hear him talk about anything else but how "right" he was. And I'm not comfortable with that idea.

So instead, Breakdown becomes that "must win" I talked about.

But a win for me has far greater implications than just Rise to Greatness. I mean FAR greater! A win over the King of Cellulite would put Cherry in a position where he wasn't at the top of his game going in against Thorn. Beating on Cherry would help my friend out. He may not need it, in fact, I guarantee there is no NEED for it, but he'd do the same for me. He'd look at his opportunity, and he'd help me if the situation called for it. For me, it calls for it. For me, it's what I am looking to accomplish along with being victorious. While I'll admit, beating Cherry for the World Championship sounds more appealing than a jar of mayonnaise does to Greg himself, I'm not selfish like that. I'm not willing to hope for he loss of a friend, merely in the hopes of getting to do to Cherry what he did to me.

I just don't work that way! I don't look at a situation from a "me, me, me" standpoint, like, say, Josh Hudson. I don't view the world as having to coddle my every whim.

Thankfully, I'll get the satisfaction of beating Cherry, and simply enjoy living with that. I'll have to accept I'm not going to get to take a championship from "Tons-o-Fun," and simply enjoy the aspect of knowing I helped remove the shreds of hope he had of actually winning the World Championship at Rise to Greatness.

I truly don't know if there are words that can truly convey how much Breakdown will mean for my future. A loss would destroy me mentally, far further than I am now. Honestly, there just aren't enough words to describe it. It's something that goes on so many different levels, ranging from the shear urge of beating Cherry, to knowing what a loss would do to the confidence levels of both Josh Hudson and myself. It's just... Just... A lot.

So I hope Greg knows my determination. He's faced it three times since his one win. Only once man to man. This time, for me, the third time will once again be a charm.

Fin

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