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X-treme Wrestling Federation BOARDS » Warfare Boards » "Wednesday Warfare" RP Board
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Don't Let Me Down
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Tony Santos Offline
Santos Glares at You

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Post: #1
06-11-2019 08:06 PM

The scene opens on a hectic Tuesday afternoon in New York City. Midtown Manhattan, and you'd be remiss to notice the perfect weather in the midst of the usual craziness happening in the heart of the city. The camera pans 7th Avenue, and the sound you just heard was an ambulance whizzing by, seemingly one of a dozen making its way through the city every five minutes. You wouldn't know it by the looks of the oblivious New Yorkers power walking up and down the sidewalk, earbuds in their ears, sunglasses over their eyes, it's almost as if they're trying to hide from the realities in front of them.

A city of 8 million people, it feels like a city of one for most working in Manhattan. There's simply too much chaos and confusion to keep track, and there are just too many random faces to make any memorable. Hell, Barack Obama could walk down these streets with his secret service detail and barely get a glance.

No one cares.

In that ambulance? A man who had just suffered a heart attack. Unbeknownst to everyone on this street, there was a dead body laying in that car, plaque having overtaken his coronary arteries over a period of many years. He'd died seemingly minutes after being plopped on the stretcher, leaving two adult children and a wife of 25 years behind. His children? They'd left their home in Queens years ago, practically as soon as they graduated high school. His wife? She'd cheated on him twice in just the past three months, their marriage unable to survive the struggles of child rearing.

The ambulance carried those memories with him. The man would be buried in a little plot in Astoria (a small Queens neighborhood that likes to pretend it's not actually part of Queens), a few scattered bar friends would show up at his funeral, his family would say good riddance, and that would be that. His 60 years on this earth, vanishing in an instant. A bitter old man who'd been living off of disability payments from the construction job he had to leave at 45 due to a broken back, having alienated his family with his extreme political views and seeming inability to have more than 60 seconds of conversation before he started hurling insults.

That was it. What a life. A life to be proud of, if you're proud of bottling up decades of insecurities into a beer belly, unleashing said insecurities at anyone and everyone in front of you, loved ones and strangers alike.

The camera pans to Tony Santos:

[Image: Mike-Hranica.jpg]

Tony stands in the middle of this 7th Avenue sidewalk, hoodie over his head on a day that is far too warm for anything more than a t-shirt. He watches to ambulance zoom by. His eyes track the alternating red and white lights...







You get the picture.

Tony needed a breather. He'd had his first appointment with Dr. Oliveira, the addiction specialist he was seeing in Boston to help curb his alcohol addiction, and man was it a doozy. Tony, a man that's not necessarily afraid of expressing himself, felt utterly weak sitting on a couch across from a lady in a white coat, medical credentials hanging from the walls around her. This was no close confidant, no mentor, and especially not your trusty bartender. Nope, this was a medical professional speaking with Tony not for his money... well, sort of for his money... okay, not for tips, but to diagnose him. Dr. Melissa Oliveira was interrogating Tony for a full hour, asking him about...

1) His profession: It fucking hurts getting punched in the face every other week.

2) How he copes with the pain from getting punched in the face: I punch them back, hopefully harder.

3) His love life: Sometimes I find a cool girl at a bar who doesn't think it's weird that I'm missing a tooth and usually have a black eye.

4) Past lovers: None that I can think of.

He's lying... remember this?

[Image: maxresdefault.jpg]

If you've been fucking paying attention to these segments you do!

Anyways, suffice it to say, Tony was grilled for an hour longer than he'd ever experienced. Shannon, the girlfriend killed by the train in that very picture above, never dared to broach the subject of Tony's problematic behaviors, at least not with a hint of sarcasm or a big ol' dose of anger and screaming. His father was long gone before Tony was old enough to ruin himself mentally and physically.

See, in Boston, it's all about bottling every little bit of fear, any sliver of inadequacy, and each and every shred of emotion, and just let them sit over a warm flame of unreachable expectations until they blow. That's why you'll find a hearty dose of Bostonians who silently deal with drug and alcohol addiction, while at the same time thumbing their noses at anyone and everyone who asks for help: The "poors" in Appalachia, the homeless addicts lining the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles, the gangbangers in Chicago trying to feed their children while feeding their even more expensive addictions, and the Southerners thumping their Bibles while they cover their homes in tears and screams.

But in Boston... just brush that dirt under the rug and project your insecurities on everyone else. It's the Puritan way, after all!

So, Tony was drained. He stood in the middle of the chaos of the big city, and just wanted to block it all out. He had no earbuds, no sunglasses. He couldn't hide himself from the people around him, but lucky for him, New York was doing its best to block him out from them.

Repression. Purposeful ignorance. Perpetual nothingness.

New York was dishing out what Tony Santos could so effortlessly serve. But what Tony couldn't handle was the thing that consistently haunted him, and was once again staring him in the face...

[Image: Shawn-Michaels-8-AWl107.jpg]


Tony turned the corner, feeling overwhelmed by the constant sirens, stomping heels, and shoulder brushes, and he found himself on a nearby, and very dirty, New York stoop. Tony drops to the stairs with a satisfying thud, lets out a deep breath, and lets his chest collapse and his body slouch forward. Tony's heart rate increases to roughly 85 BPM, the overwhelming anxiety of the big city around him fully coming to realization. Tony stares at the ground below, a cigarette butt between his black Chucks, a wad of spit near his crotch.

Santos: This fucking city su... sucks, man.

Tony's eyes crawl across the pavement so slowly that Tony can practically hear the crunch of the pavement in his head as his eyes drag across. His breaths continue to quicken, his heart rate continuing to rise. This is a bit concerning, sure, but not entirely new for Tony. He is an alcoholic after all. He's consumed his fair share of excessive beverages, and felt the effects the next morning.

But this feels different. The combination of anxiety with a heavy and emotional session with Dr. Oliveira. Tony could feel his heart trying to lift a load it wasn't used to. 500 pounds of raw emotion tugging from below. It's like good exercise: You run your first couple miles, your legs hurt like hell. You do it over and over and over again, two miles becoming three, becoming five, becoming ten? Your legs get stronger, and those first two miles feel a hell of a lot worse than the ensuing ten.

That's sort of what Tony's heart is feeling right now.

He's managed substance abuse for almost two decades, and his heart has adapted... for how long? Well, that's a different question, but his heart has learned to work through excessive consumption in order for him to live... and to wrestle. But that emotional repression we were talking about? Releasing his feelings and pouring out his weaknesses?

That's simply not in his DNA.

Tony lifts his head to see a New York staple:

[Image: OPINION_160329993_AR_-1_NEPHBVDAVNXL.jpg]

Tony lets out a quick, resigned laugh that sounds more like a cough. He hates this city, but he keeps coming back. Every time he tries to run from his problems, he thinks the bright lights of New York City will be the answer, and every time he finds the proverbial pile of trash.

New York.

Ah! But what about Tony's past, you say? We kind of left you hanging there. Well, let's dive in.

[Image: Shawn-Michaels-8-AWl107.jpg]

Above is the Tony Santos of 2013. The man Tony used to idolize. The man Tony used to aspire to be. The Tony Santos of his mid-20s. The Tony Santos who went to the bar... every. single. night... and felt no consequences. The man who hit back at his opponents in the XWF and life with a heap of snark. He'd won titles, been Star of the Month soon after his arrival, and eventually made the XWF Top 50. His career was on the rise! What went wrong?

Tony: You're telling me.

Tony sits next to... well, Tony (let's call him "Santos" for here on out), staring at the pile of trash across the street. Santos sits, hoodie still covering his head, beads of sweat starting to form on his forehead due to the near summer heat, his heart rate beginning to fall, a calm coming over him as he talks with... himself, ignoring the nightmare of a city around him.

Old Tony (let's call him "Tony" for the rest of this piece) sits next to him, his old, black trench coat over his back (also too hot for this weather... some things never truly change), thick, long brown locks of hair flowing down his back. Tony's neck muscles ripple in the sun, his cut cheeks highlight the trademark smile he used to flash at the fans he hated and the wrestlers he abhorred. Tony holds a Harpoon IPA in hand, his old Boston beer standby, as a Marlboro Black is perched in his mouth.

Tony: You're from the future, man. You tell me what happened. I set you up for success, after all. Remember September 2013? I was rolling through the XWF, on my way to the King of the XWF. I was Star of the Month, Tony... Star of the Month! I instilled fear in Steve Davids, made friends with Sebastian Duke, fought battles with Luca Arzegotti... hell, Tony, I was in two matches in ONE PAY PER VIEW! Sure, I lost both, but I was climbing that mountain. I was hated by Shane Carver, but so was everyone... but at least I was respected. I got mauled by the legendary John Madison for the crown, but I fought for it.

I fought with Dean Moxley, Sid Feder, and defied multiple stables to carve my own path.

I was on my way to legendary status, Tony. I just needed to get over a hump. The hump of the Black Circle's dynasty. The hump of an incredibly talented roster that I was getting THIS CLOSE to beating. I'd won championships, and I was destined for...

Just then, an image appears in the trash pile ahead

[Image: 59b29ab3609c30a6028b53dd-750-563.png]

Tony: ...the Spaceman.

Just then, Tony lifts himself from the stoop. His own heart rain quickens, despite him just being a hologram, and his long, wavy locks instantly become drenched in sweat. Tony drops his trench coat, revealing a t-shirt cut at the sleeves. His long, baggy jeans flow along his muscular thighs.

Tony takes a step down, then another, then one more to the sidewalk, his eyes never leaving the Spaceman's visage. The cocky Tony from years ago is gone, his attention completely focused on the man in front of him... or the man, or being, he thinks is in front of him.

Tony's t-shirt disintegrates, his jeans cut at the knees. Tony's locks thin, and then fall off. Tony tries to smile, but as soon as he opens his mouth, his front tooth falls out, and his pearly white teeth turn a yellow sheen. Tony's smooth face dries up, small cracks opening in the form of scars. Bags balloon under his eyes, and a bald spot forms on the top of his head.

Tony limps toward the Spaceman. Tony opens his mouth and attempts to utter a sentence, but nothing comes out. Above the Spaceman, a crown. Beneath the Spaceman, the TV Title. On the ground behind the Spaceman... the Xtreme Title, with "Tony Santos... Temporary Champion" etched into the gold.

Tony reaches a hand out towards Mr. Satellite, and as he's about to make contact, Mr. Satellite disappears, just like every time he came so close to victory. Every time he'd hit a Final Destination...

[Image: giphy.gif]


Every time he'd hit Satellite with a Tony Award...

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He'd disappear.

And any time he saw victory ahead, and the chance to vanquish the one man who'd escaped him like no one else? The one man who cut into Tony's psyche? The man who saw Tony's cocky getup for what it was... a charade? The one man who Tony knew he could beat, but never found that one trick, that one move, or that one meteoric maneuver that would finally throw him into the black hole of his personal history?

[Image: giphy.gif]

He'd fall apart. But not this time.

Tony's cloud disappears into the trash pile, the crown sinking into a pile of dead fish. The Xtreme Title fades away as a child hops into the water puddle beneath it. And the TV Title falls into the street, run over by... ambulance.

Tony lifts his head as the sirens blare past him.

Santos: Not this time.

September 2013 and May 2019 Star of the Month
1x Hart Champion
1x Television Champion
1x Xtreme Champion

[Image: VIh61T5.jpg]
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