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What It Is

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1What It Is Empty What It Is on Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:15 pm

James Ceno

HSW North American Champion
HSW North American Champion
”First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” - Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi


There are three types of people: winners, losers and warriors.

Winners win; losers lose.

Warriors can win and lose, while knowing how to adapt to losing and get better with winning.

Eventually winners lose and become losers.

Sometimes a loser can win, but they eventually return to being losers.

Warriors can be both and maintain strength and dignity.

But the warrior never quits, never backs down.

The loser cowers in the face of adversity.

The winner avoids confrontation to maintain its winning ways.

The warrior charges forward, sword shining, and never looks back.


~Kelly is backstage with James Ceno right after the main event: the match for the tag team titles between Paragon’s Amber Ryan and Leon Cashmere and Frost Elite, comprising of Mizore Payne and Maya Jensen. At this point, Ceno has no idea what he’s doing or saying, because, as the result of Eli’s Goode Deal, James is suffering from a concussion. However, the Firestorm is showing not many, if any physical signs, but his eyes are unsteady, as if stricken with paranoia.

His last good memory is running to the ring to face down the Paynes after their blatant interference in the match, and Christy stood between him and Jeff, the Firestorm chirping away at him.

Beyond that, Ceno could barely remember who else was in the ring. His head was rattled, his bell rung; it was a new experience for him, and, as he stood for his interview, there was fear running through his mind, which made him extra jittery, especially since his mind wasn’t at its usual 100%.~

KL: I’m here with James Ceno after his run-in to protect his allies in Paragon from the Payne family in what was supposed to be the match for the tag team titles. James, what happened?

JC: What happened was a blur. It happened because there were people who stuck their noses in business that wasn’t theirs. They’re not even competitors here; I see no contract with their names written down, so I was protecting the investment, protecting my partners in Paragon. Even I’ve put money into this company, Kelly; I’m an investor. I’m no major stockholder by any means, but I’m making money when this company makes money and the interference of a bunch of retirees and has-beens affects my bottom line!

KL: Um, right. Can you clarify?

JC: These kids these days: they think they can rule the roost and take control, but they need to be taught FORCEFULLY that you can’t just run into the ring and attack people all willy-nilly. I will be forced to step up and take my anger out on you two... Jeff, 18, you don’t know what you’re starting between yourselves and Paragon. We are the wave of the future, rooted deeply in the traditions of the past, and you will be made to understand that.

KL: This is the final weekly card before Winter Survival, and not only are you in a match with Eli Goode...

~Ceno grabs the side of his head at the mention of Eli’s name, as if to send a shooting pain down his neck from where he caught the Firestorm with the Goode Deal.~

KL: ...but you have also signed up for the Sole Survivor tournament. Are you excited about it?

JC: Here I go into the danger zone, Kelly. Oh yeah. The feeling I get when I think about facing all these different talents from these different organizations, yeah, I get fired up and I can’t get the rush down from the madness that will take place. Oh yeah!

~Kelly begins to look more and more concerned as James begins to rip off and imitate different wrestlers, as if he can’t seem to keep it straight. First it was the Million Dollar Man, then he was at least more like himself but older, maybe a Jack Michaels impression, but now the Macho Man?~

KL: Let’s get it straight, James.

~She struggles to keep her composure, genuinely worried.~

KL: One of your opponents in the Sole Survivor is ally to you and member of Paragon, Amber Ryan. What do you think about facing an ally?

~James looks at her and scoffs.~

JC: Amber what? Who Ryan?

KL: Amber Ry-

JC: It doesn’t matter who it is! James Ceno does not give one rat’s candy-ass about any of these jabronis looking to step up and face the Firestorm to see who will be the Sole Survivor. One match after the other, step by step, inch by mother-loving inch! That is what the Sole Survivor has to go through, regardless of whatever obstacles are in his or her way. And my way, the Firestorm’s way, will be no different, but the difference remains in the sole fact that I will be Sole Survivor.

~Kelly cringes at James’ decent Rock impression, but it was still not him.~

KL: James...

JC: Yes?

KL: Are you okay?

JC: Yeah, why?

~His eyes were off, as Kelly watched them dart about, the pupils uneven slightly, but she pressed on.~

KL: Never mind. What are your thoughts of the event? Such as the match where Maya faces Annie Fugate for the Women’s title, do you expect a lot of ripples?

JC: The ice will be broken, quite simply. Many things are going to happen. Mizore vs. Jack? I don’t know what to say. I’ve faced them both, but I’ve never held Jack to a standstill the way I took Mizore. But I am Paragon, and I will go with Jack. I hope Maya beats Annie. It will be vindication for her to win the Women’s title. If she wins, I will, forgoing whatever Paragon will want to do, go to the top of the ramp and applaud her while her family, regardless of whether or not she includes me in it, and if Paragon tries to get in the way, I will get in their way. I worked with Maya and I am damn proud of her, and I won’t let them ruin her moment. Their problems are with Mizore and the Paynes, not my daughter.

KL: What if it’s Roller X to crash the celebration?

JC: That assclown would dare to have the nerve to get in the way, I’ll slap her down without so much as a thought directed towards hesitation.

KL: Oh God...

JC: What now?

KL: Just... nothing. Let’s keep moving.

~Kelly sighs and looks at the director, as if to signal that this has to end prematurely, using the medical staff to escort James away.~

KL: Final thoughts regarding the Sole Survivor match, JAMES, or any words for your potential opponents?

~James takes a deep breath and it steadies him, but his eyes still look very wonky as he stares into the camera.~

JC: I have looked at the list of names, and there are quite a few I recognize, while others I do not. Either way, you all want to put your fingers in the HSW pie. Well, that’s all good, but you will learn that when it comes to proving that this is where you’re going to be, you need to BELONG here. Sure, Paragon is an all-encompassing force that will sweep through the business like a wildfire in a dry savannah, but remember that you have to go through the proving ground to earn your place. In that, some of you will find yourselves going head-to-head with one of this industry’s standout talents, someone who has rode the ride of the main event and, whether a win or a loss, has been brought back to the dance. Regardless of who or what, you will get to learn what it is to be an HSW competitor, and I will be that proving ground. I will be that standout talent, the person who knows what it’s like to be the main event and to win the main event.

It will be me in the main event still. Why? The answer is simple. For all of you who are going to at least TRY, I will give you a good match, but that is it. There will be no one to advance past me. I refuse it. I will not lose this! This is as big a shot as any that I’ve had in my career and I will not let anyone, be it Eli or Amber or Jack... ANYONE get in my way. I will be HSW World Heavyweight Champion; I will also retain the North American Heavyweight Championship against Eli Goode and there’s nothing that will stop me from doing that.

But this... Sole Survivor... I can’t pass this up.

~Tears start to randomly flow from Ceno’s eyes.~

JC: Who of you will be enough to stop me? Huh!? What? None of you will, because this is my moment, and the only one who can stop me is me. The only person I can lose to is myself and I will not allow that to happen. I will win, I will persevere; I will be victorious, and there isn’t a soul among you with the strength or control of the Firestorm. Get out of my way before you get burned.

~The ominous threat expressed, James Ceno leaves the interview box, and the story of his events play out as told elsewhere.~


My head hurts so much, but I can’t let it get to me.

I just have to put my head down and keep pushing myself forward.

I can keep training with Maya. I can keep my shape there.

As long as I’m not falling over myself, I should be okay.

I just need to remember what’s at stake.

What’s at stake is a shot at the top.


~In a single chair, in a room full of lights, sits James Ceno. He’s leaning in the seat, breathing deeply, surrounded by the incandescent bulbs as they radiate their heat onto his body, the sweat slowly trickling down his face. His breathing was deep and troubled, as he looked at his hands, ringing them as if trying to rub the blood off them.~

JC: This headache makes me feel like I’m going to explode. It hurts, it aches, it runs me down and drains me so easily and readily... And I blame you, Eli... But no matter, because I have bigger fish to fry.

~Ceno slowly gets up, the lights disorienting him quite violently, but he played it off.~

JC: This is about the Sole Survivor. This is about a shot at Jack Michaels OR Mizore Payne for the World Heavyweight Championship. As the North American Heavyweight Champion, I should be satisfied, but no, I’m not some complacent boob who settles for second best. I’ve been under so very much pressure, especially since I got the trauma, but I have dealt with all kinds of trauma in my past; what’s the difference between this and anything else I’ve experienced?

~James starts to walk, but he stops himself, clutching his head.~

JC: Oh yeah, now I know the difference. I get these dizzy spells. I get these knockout spells. I black out like a burning-out light bulb!

~A swipe of his hand and one of the bulbs shatters into millions of pieces, the filament glowing until it burns in the air.~

JC: And it doesn’t stop there. I had blacked out... completely. I lost my memory of that whole Slam after you caught me in the head, Eli. However there is so much more going on in my head than some shot to the head could suppress. I have my plans. I have my designs. I have my ideal ways into this match, and it all starts with my recovery. It all starts with my clarity returning to me, and it will return to me. It will become mine again, and the ultimate sign of clarity will be the victory I have over my foes. And that will come with Sole Survivor.

~Ceno gritted his teeth as he opened his eyes, the light hurting his sensitive eyes. The headache became more of a migraine, and his vision started to blur. He fought through it.

Why bother though? It was just a match, or series of matches, that would lead to one final match in the shot against Jack or Mizore in the final, but that’s what made it worth it: worth the pain, worth the slowed recovery because of all the stimuli, worth the agony that came with the possibility that he may not be cleared.

As if by some psychic connection, the director cued that the lights be dimmed, and Ceno’s vision began to clear up, allowing him to continue.~

JC: And that’s just how it is with me. I can’t really get into my usual passionately charged and characteristic monologue, but I don’t really need it. Each light is a synapse on fire with the sole thought of the Sole Survivor match. Talents like Amber Ryan, Eli himself, Maya, Android 18, and I know you’re hiding in there too, Jeff Payne, will be competing to prove himself or herself worthy of a shot against our illustrious champion, because I also saw names I don’t recognize on the list, from different federations trying to prove their worth here, when they should be busier worrying about where they belong, because that’s not here, and those of us in HSW will prove that to them with every punch, with every kick, with every hold and with every finish. It doesn’t matter what happens to me, quite honestly, but I want to win, and I will be hard-pressed to submit to nothingness. But...

~James takes another step and stumbles, falling to the ground unconscious, smashing lights on the way down.~

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