TLC 2014 Sucked and You Know It: A DiZ Review

It’s no secret that I can’t stand Cleveland.  I can’t stand Cleveland as a city, as a concept; the sports teams there make me vomit, the local politics are mad corrupt, the police force is more corrupt than other places in the United States; I actively fear for the souls of my family and friends in and near the city.  To this day I say that only four good things can be associated with Cleveland:

  1. Drew Carey
  2. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  3. Halle Berry
  4. The ability to leave

So in that regard, maybe, JUST MAYBE, I’m sadistically pleased that such a crap PPV took place in Cleveland.  It’s exactly what the crap city deserves, and this is incredible because it was working in the shadow of the mindblowingly wonderful NXT event on Thursday.  Rumors were that the Raw and Smackdown talent were looking to step up after that brilliance that was REvolution, but I’m somewhat torn to say that I can count on one hand the guys that actually did, and to be fair, they were the cats that came from NXT anyway.

But this isn’t about me just up and bashing the PPV in a long post.  That’s what pages are for!  Let’s get started, because today I utilize a new system of grading: the Jermaine-o-meter!

panda

Text Messagin’ w/ Mr. Lamb – Kevin Owens

Mr. Morris – “How mad would u be if Kevin Owens debuted like The Funkasaurus? Lol

Mr. Lamb – “Yes and yes.”

Mr. Morris – “Cool.”

Mr. Lamb – “Owens ain’t coming out in no comedy act. He hungry. For blood.”

Mr. Morris – “And Funk.”

Mr. Lamb – “…Shut up.”

The Ascension of Bray Wyatt, Part 2

Santino led Bray down a long hallway at a slogging pace. He attempted to joke with the cryptic man, to bring a smile to the beard, but it was all for naught. Wyatt followed the joker in silence, exchanging passing glances with the people that passed by.

The twins.

The golden pair.

The British pair, one caramel, one pale.

They all eyed the eater of worlds with caution, and Santino kept talking. It wasn’t fear: just weary understanding. Bray Wyatt was crazy.  Bray Wyatt was a monster. Bray Wyatt was always on the verge of beating someone senseless.

Only he wasn’t.  He was calculating: his ramblings and supposed incoherencies were part of a grand scheme even he wasn’t completely informed of.  He grinned and remembered a line from The Dark Knight.

“See I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.”

Santino came to a stop in front of a simple door. There was nothing special about it: the paint was a bit chipped, one of the three numbers marking it was gone, and the doorknob was a bit warped, but otherwise there was nothing of significance about the door. Marella knocked on the door – to show more friendly behavior, not to attract attention – and began to slowly back away under a slew of one-liners and false bravado. Bray was amused again. Santino was back into rare country.

As the man was now gone, Wyatt had plenty of time to stand before the door and lament yet again. He thought about the chair and how important it was in the grand scheme of things. The warmth, the memories; he meant to keep a part of it with him. Maybe he could have whittled it down to a key or something, wear it like a keychain, but hindsight was 20/20, and he was already a bit hard of seeing. After speaking to whoever wanted to meet him, he would go back. He’d gather what he could, refashion it into something. That was level headed thinking.

“BRAY!”

And with one word the level headedness was gone. The voice of Mr. Ambrose, the latest and hopefully still successful convert to Bray’s cause, rang in his ears as the lunatic fringe jumped both past him and into him. Dean Ambrose put his arm around the would-be prophet and gave him a friendly pat on the stomach.

“What’s up, Bray? Having a good day? I hope you are because I’m two seconds away from kicking your ass.”

“You must have me mistaken with someone else, Dean. I’m the last person you should even consider doing harm to.”

“Oh cry me a river, tubby. Whatcha doin?”

“That really isn’t any of your business.”

“But it is, Bray, oh but it is. You know who’s behind this door, right?”

Bray didn’t have the heart to tell Dean to shut up, nor did he have the passion to assert that Dean was just as in the dark as anyone else. Who could have been behind the door? Dean couldn’t have known, could he?

“You don’t know!” Dean said, eyes widening, laughter loud. “You cryptic son of a bitch, that’s something else!”

“Leave, Dean,” Bray said, clenching his fist. Sister Abigail told him to keep his hands calm in the face of anger. She never could have envisioned that Bray would be face to face with the man that stole her last connection to this world from him. Such an act awakened that dormant demon in Bray, the only one he actively sought to suppress.

Just be patient. His time is coming. Stay the course.

Bray patted Dean on the shoulder and said, “Before this month is done, before the year reaches its conclusion, I promise you, Dean, I will hurt you. I will put you through the pain you have put me through. Sister Abigail taught me—”

“Yeah, sorry, don’t care,” Dean said. “You’re boring me. You’re boring. I’m leaving.” He gave Bray a friendly pat on the butt. The baseball maneuver unnerved Bray but at least Dean was on his merry way. No one infuriated Bray like Dean Ambrose, but he had a chance to bury that in the near future.

Just be patient…

Bray turned his focus to the door again and exhaled through his nose. He grasped the knob and opened the door, walking in and shivering. It was freezing cold, down to the point that a layer of mist made it impossible to see the floor.

His time is coming…

Bray walked forward, half enjoying the new dark room that was similar to his last one. It was bigger though, far bigger. There might have been a light on the far side of the room but it was impossible to tell. The sheer ambiance in the room was the stuff of theater or even Broadway. Wyatt was struck with a sense of dread and wanted to depart, but Abigail’s voice rang through.

Stay the course.

“I will,” he mumbled. He continued to walk, comfortable in the darkness, uncomfortable in what he didn’t know. His feet carried him forward, backward and side to side for what seemed like twenty minutes. He didn’t wear a watch but something told him it had been even longer than that. Bray looked around the darkness only to determine that he was as blind as a bat. There was nothing to see, it was pitch.

What the hell could Santino have meant? Bray shut his eyes (for all the good it would do him) and thought back to Abigail. He began to hum the tune she sang to him to give him comfort.

“I’ve got the whole world in my hands,” he whispered, his eyes still shut. “I’ve got the whole world… in my hands… I’ve got the…”

He came to a slow end and felt the air change. It was no longer cold: it was warm, and Bray’s heart began to race. He opened his eyes quickly, and it was still dark, but in the corner of his eye he could see the faint traces of light. With a spin he shifted around and saw the same kind of light that was in his old room, and under it was a rocking chair.

Bray approached and touched the wood, gasping. A rocking chair. THE rocking chair. Not repaired, but reborn. The same notches, the same grooves, this was the chair that Dean had destroyed, the chair that when destroyed caused Bray such pain that his violence was at a fever pitch.

And now, as if it never happened, he was calm. He sat down and rocked back and forth a bit as he shut his eyes and recalled the sweet woman’s sweeter embrace. It was so comforting that he completely forgot that he still didn’t know who he was dealing with.

“We’ve much to discuss…”

The voice was deep and intense. Bray felt the hairs on the back of his neck (and everywhere else) stand up. His rocking came to an instant stop as he looked forward to see another chair. It was no rocking chair: it was a folding chair, and the lightning made sure that Bray could only see the man’s legs. Almost immediately Bray knew who he was dealing with and he was ready to speak.

“I—”

The figure put one hand on his knee, revealing a gloved hand, and then his other hand came forward. In that hand was something that nearly made the man shiver in delight.

That significant little trinket.

That memorial.

That urn.

Bray looked at the still concealed legend and smiled to hide his fearful respect. Now he only had to listen. That’s what a good student did. Bray put his hands in his lap and straightened his back as the Phenom repeated himself, never changing his dusty tone.

“We have much to discuss.”

The Ascension of Bray Wyatt, Part 1

His mind drifted to thoughts of Abigail as he held the pieces of her broken rocking chair. Bray Wyatt was a man who constantly found solace and comfort in the darkness, and today was no different, but it was always so metaphorical. The darkness was reserved for those terrifying locales in his mind where even he was cautious in walking around. Rarely did the view outside match his dark mentality.

Bray wasn’t quite sure where he was. It was a small room, bare, devoid of anything really but the man, the remains of his chair, and a calm lamp overhead, swinging ever so gently in the total lack of wind. It was just that: a broken man lamenting his broken heirloom.

He’d often considered what such an action would constitute. The chair was his connection to the woman that had made him what he was, her final gift before she took that long journey to meet the good man J.C. and his cosmic pops. It didn’t mean the world to him: it was the world. It was the center, the pillar of strength he drew from in times of self-doubt and confusion.

It nearly made him chuckle. The image he portrayed was so powerful: cryptic and majestic, creepy and dangerous, always on the thin line between brilliance and insanity. He ran his flock and only showed the enforcers off; he stepped into his bizarre form of combat with his thrift store attire and crazy hair, grinning and rambling like a weeded up Cheshire Cat, and they loved it. Some didn’t understand, but when he walked out they held up their lanterns all the same.

Sister Abigail would have been proud. Bray held half of what was once an arm rest and touched it to this forehead. Her touch was still upon it, her warmth, her wisdom. She had always told him that the world was his, but he was too young to appreciate it while she walked with him. “I promise you, you can have the world,” she said, her comforting hand on his shoulder. “But I warn you. I’ve seen the world, and you may not want it.”

But he did. Bray stood and dropped the wood, removing his hat and saying a silent prayer to the last thing that gave him peace. “He will pay,” he muttered, his eyes intently focused on the ruins. A strange intensity crossed his face and his teeth gritted together: such blatant rage was supposed to be beneath him. He was above it. Perhaps it truly took a man of lunacy to revert such a supposedly enlightened being to more base, more primal thoughts.

Anger.

Rage.

Violence.

Fury.

Revenge.

At the thought of that last word Wyatt offered the darkness a subtle grin, more a kind acknowledgement than a smile. Revenge. Sister Abigail always said that such desires were the marks of demons and sinners. Bray found that he liked to congregate with the demons and sinners more than the angels and saints. They engaged in better conversations. They weren’t afraid to indulge in the flesh.

There were no buzzards, no birds, no lanterns, but he held out his arms in a triumphant way and raised his head to the ceiling. Those buzzards, those damn birds, they were so important to him. They opened the door to his backwoods life. They laid out the path of corpses and decaying undesirables for him to walk down to see the truth of life. They served as the beacon to her passing. They fed on her after the ascension: she always liked the idea of being a part of the food chain. She never anticipated such a sight would turn Bray into the beast he was though. She never anticipated that he would be so in tune with the things she sought to shield him from.

“Follow,” he sighed, closing his eyes gently.

He opened his mouth to finish the phrase when he sensed a presence behind him. He slowly lowered his arms, slowly tilted his head back forward, and asked, “What?”

Wyatt had few dealings with Santino. He was a clown, if an entertaining one. He was there for a laugh and, if needed, to show something special in the squared circle. Bray only raised his fists to those he deemed threats or potential converts: Marella was a rare example of a man who fell into no category.

“Uh, Bray, I-I-I-I have a—”

“Put some bass in your voice when you speak to me,” Bray said, turning around to face the Italian comic. Taken aback just a bit, Wyatt nearly laughed at Santino’s suit. It was a new look, a clean look, a corporate look, and it fit him eerily well. “You…”

“I was told to retrieve you!” Santino said quickly, retreating back into the closed door. “Someone w-w-wants to speak to you!”

“He can come to me,” Bray said.

“He insists you go to him.”

Santino crept closer and closer to one of the extremes that Bray was familiar with, but the cogs in the backwoods cult leader’s mind began to turn. Santino had pull, more than anyone liked to admit, so for him to be reduced to a deliver boy meant—

“Where is he?”

“Just follow me, I’ll take you to him.”

With no more argument Bray followed Santino out of the door. He never once looked back at the remains of the chair that comforted him so, but perhaps that was for the best. He never saw it vanish into thin air.

It's Still Real to Me, Dammit!

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