The Cathouse


The camera cuts and we're standing in a room with Lisa across the way. She smiles, welcomes us forward and then leans back with a sigh.

Lisa Seldon"Well that's far from surprising."

"As expected, Teresa comes out swinging for the fences, jumping at every attack and very thinly skirting round the sore points and hoping no one notices.

"Tantamount to this is the questions on her competition, ripped entirely out of context."

Then eases forward again, currently sitting on the edge of the West Wing set she still carts out from time to time. Arguments be damned, it was a very expensive piece of furniture.

"Honestly, I never exactly questioned who you beat, except to sat that, while there's nothing wrong with the people you beat, there's plenty wrong with half-assing every week post Genesis, dropping Marvin when you realised it was game on again and then calling six months of worth the long hard road to the top that always walked alone.

"At the same time I've been doing just as much, stomping on every single person put in front of me and reminding everyone that I'm a level above anything they've been able to offer, but at no point did I ever get lost in my own hype and assume that just because I made Rebel Pro as a whole look like my little bitch means that I'm over, out and already holding the belt if it wasn't for these last few stragglers waiting to get mopped up."

She leans back again, spinning on a thin little axis before dropping her next line into the screen.

"You have though. You said so much yourself when you lumped me in with every name you've claimed thus far, stating that you turn everyone around into heartless versions of themselves just by being you and that amongst them, I just happened to be next. When the truth is that, Marvin Wood is one dimensional, Kalis is so literally and figuratively blind to everything wrong with him that he hasn't impressed once since this year began, Project X is from such a bygone era that he's still sporting a slasher gimmick and Enika Engel's massive head made tipping her out of the ring a breeze. And for the merits of each of them, compared to me, they struggle to make any kind of relevant comparison."

She touches her teeth to her bottom lip.

"Fact is you're not the epicentre of this community just yet and every time you try to say otherwise it slips a little bit farther away. Because for every name you've dropped thus far you still have to remember that there's exactly one more standing in your way, and it was always going to be me.

"And while I know that sounds about as standard a line as anyone can win on any given night, the difference is that I transcend everyone you've had to fight thus far and have plenty on me to back that up. You talk plenty about turning kings into fools but don't seem to realise that with me you can clearly say the same. I turned Kalis into an even bigger jibbering, hopeless fool than you could ever dream, gave Emily Corlen an inferiority complex the size of her gut and, just this week alone, pulled the great and powerful Teresa Quaranta down to my level, put her on the back foot and sent her scrambling when I threw a few shots in passing and forced her through an entire spiel about how, really, if anyone is the lonely emotional cripple around here it's me and definitely not her at all.

"All of which was odd because that's an argument she's never going to win. Guess I struck a nerve."

For the time being this gets a shrug.

"Of course I'll get to that in time, but the point remains that I ruin people both in the ring and out while also accounting for the fact that in that I'm not alone. You do it too, and that's why at the end of this road we were always going to be the last two people left. I get that, I understand that right now there's us and everyone else. What's more I realise that like me you're the last great foe in the world and that if I can't get by you I can't ever be anything more than second, while you'd have us believe that, eternally, there was only ever just you.

"For me then we're like two equal beings in a mirror, and the only real difference is that, while you're admiring you're reflection and thinking about how great you are, I'm preparing to put my fist through the glass and leave nothing on the other side.

"Essentially, I understand that we can't just rely on what worked out yesterday. Great as it was, it's now time to take your game a whole step further. I'm prepared for that, clearly we can't say the same about you."

Lisa pauses for just a second, clicks her tongue.

"Incidentally, I never called the framing device overdramatic. I was more questioning the notion that you'd taken a very ordinary list of achievements and tried to make it look like anything more than what it was. Of course that's my fault. I didn't shape it plainly enough for me. Apparently you need everything reduced to a base and child like level. Perhaps I should have tied in some nonsense about dwarfs, all of whom I'm guessing were supposed to be Alexis. Poor girl gets dumped on a lot."

She lifts up her hands from her sides and then lets them fall.

"As for the Blacklist thing, it's contextual. You can't throw around points about how everyone else around you is crushing cans when cans are all they have for you to crush and then say it's different for you because you did it yesterday and probably wont again.

I didn't come to Rebel Pro to win a world title either, but when someone dangled the one thing I wanted more than anything, I could hardly be blamed for tearing it out of their hands. I also didn't need to take the title I was so clearly above in a backstage mugging either. I also don't need to get my kicks torturing the weak and simple minded. I mean, it's one thing to just beat them, but these little experiments you put people through are so base an pathetic that you might as well have stood on the sidewalk burning ants with a magnifying glass while telling yourself you were God.

"As if it wasn't enough too when you'd basically already done the same with Estelle Webb. The poor, sweet and innocent trainee you broken down, humiliated and tormented for your own sick and ultimately sad pleasures, before turning her out and having her committed to a home that took her in as a hurt child and sent her back out sounding like DMX.

"And to think you're trying to call me into question on how I have my fun. Least when I crush the cans I don't do it so I can write about it in my notebook and pretend I'm an intellectual testing the limits of the human body, mind and spirit.

"What's more I've bragged about it about as much as it deserves. I'm aware Rebel Pro became little more than a means to an end the second I threw off the hat and began cracking every skull in sight and do nothing more than prove that Kalis, Corlen and crew simply sit in a level I happen to be way beyond and that if I was to be challenged, it had to be here with Pavlov herself.

"Of course I hit that mark once already this week, so why we're still lingering on the point of a few wins in Rebel is beyond me. I guess it just fit well with this two week victory dance thing you love to say. If that's the case, then fine, feel free, just don't get caught thinking I've reached a plateau. I'm not you, I'm yet to settle, and while you're content to have evolved, I'm evolving still.

"I suppose that's why I continue to rise while you sink everyday, whether you get that or not."

Lisa then leans forward, red curls spinning down upon her face.

"See you'd love to play yourself as the stone-faced iron maiden of wrestling, about to freeze me with a look, but the truths is, you're so mentally unstable and tort to breaking point that you make me look like the rational everyday person I clearly am not.

"For a start she's a woman knocking on the door to thirty who until recently happened to live with her mother. She'll tell you it was a money issue and she just didn't want to pay for a home she'd very rarely be in, but the truth is she just needs people around her to distract from her otherwise vapid and empty life outside the ring. Further proof of this fact is Karina, the woman she recently had an affair with. Well, I say affair, but that implies there was some measure of secrecy going on in their relationship. The truth is Karina's fiancÚ knows and doesn't really care, because he gets that Teresa has the all around social skills of a bear in an SS uniform and so really isn't too worried about the competition.

"Still it happens, they part ways and have kind of a falling out. For Karina it was because Teresa wasn't performing as well as she could. For Teresa it was because the girl tore out her heart, ate it as part of a very pretentious four course meal, probably with a sprig of lemon grass and a very meagre portion, and then fucked really loudly against the wall that's now been put up between them.

"Not an emotional wall, a literal one, because at this point Teresa is out of the nest and making it on her own. Funny though the one time she finally leaves her mothers womb is too go live one door down from the only person to whom she's ever been able to maintain what, for her, could be described as a meaningful relationship."

She drops the points all matter of fact. You'd love to think they sting her each time.

"And yes you could blame it on fate or mere coincidence, if it wasn't for the fact that she has utterly no intention of moving, either because the only other option was moving back in with mommy, and at least while she's living next door to Casticellias there's always the chance they'll get drunk, punch through the wall in the rickety shit hole apartment they share and invite her in as a third.

"Then at least for a moment she'd get to feel again."

She smiles, rocking her head just to one side.

"In turn I'm aware my situation is far from desirable. Yeah I got married and it didn't work, and now I live alone in Boston and I'm currently in the midst of what seems to be becoming into a very messy divorce. Turns out when we divided up friends, I got all the angry lesbians and he got the family lawyer.

"The difference though is that I saw the problem and confronted it, while you share a wall with your estranged lesbian lover who also happens to be engaged to your friend. Surely that has to be massively awkward when you're hugging the wall and sobbing while they're tip-toeing around the living room pretending to not be home.

"Despite that though you won't move off because it's the most meaningful relationship you've ever had that didn't require batteries or an English to German translation book and an ability to over look the fact that Q was so here and there with you he probably brought spare bimbos to dinner with him just in case he wasn't really feeling your aura that day.

"I also heard she dated a robot. I can't get you any proof but I suppose it makes sense, because apparently the only people who can ever stand to be around her in that capacity are cold, emotionless, automatons who are either killing time until someone better comes along or can be programmed to love anything."

Takes a second out again, letting the thought settle while she seethes on a breath.

"And if you're waiting for the point in all this back and forth, who's life is the worst tennis match, the point is that, not only is there someone else in the world even more emotionally crippled than Lisa Seldon, but that I never let it get in the way while she lets it become her single all consuming trait. And while at first that doesn't seem like such a deciding factor, the truth is, for all her spite and bravado, Teresa needs people to like her more than she'll ever admit, where as I don't. And if you need any further proof, just go watch Karina claim her back at the snap of her fingers, even despite everything she'd had done to her."

The corner of her lip touches with a smile again.

"I guess where I'm going with this is that this lifestyle makes her life desperately unhappy in a way for me it does not. There's only so far she can go down this road before she snaps rather violently in two, while I'll still be marching along, pick-axe on my shoulder and off to work with the rest of the dwarfs again.

"So the next time she comes out and tells us all that she's sacrificed everything for this sport and would do a million times again, take a look in her eyes and wonder just how true that could really be. I don't have to, because I've had the pleasure of sitting with her in a McDonalds ballpit while she tries to dance around her very awkward, very painful life in a tone so high it could cut glass."

She sighs a little hint of laughter.

"She needs distractions and people who'll tell her she's special. I don't, I just need to win, hence why I've become very adapt at it. And while Teresa wants to throw around claims that I everything I do is in the hope that I can make people love me, the real honest truth is everything I do in this sport is purely to excel, improve and achieve at every level.

"Despite that I remain popular, I've got all friends I need, and I'm about to take one I like every other day of the year, make them feel utterly miserable and then stamp on their face until someone pulls me off and declares me the new AoWF Champion of the World.

"After that maybe I'll stop and have a look around, but until then, I've got about as much intention of letting that stop me as I do of beating you senseless before tripping over your corpse, falling out the ring, breaking my neck and letting Simon Kalis run away with my belt."

Her tone starts to steeple. She jumps forward from the desk, takes a step to one side and glares an easy grin.

"I guess then, the last I have to say on the matter is that Teresa barely understands me at all, because despite all the proof in these thin and tenuous links she's grabbed, the truth is, I could care less what anyone else in the world happens to think of me. She'll learn that herself, when I take someone who was once a dear and close friend... and obliterate them.

"And it'll be so easy too, because while she's content that she's already there, I'm about to take that one last step, and claim it all."

For a second she holds out her hand, and then crushes it closed. One last smile into herself then, and she's gone.

Lisa Seldon

An open letter from Lisa Seldon.

Dear fans of the AoWF. Lets take a walk.

My first live and in person exposure to this community of ours came back in 2002 at an event rather simply titled AoWF 4. A multi-day type deal not entirely unlike Honour Bound, in which the titles rather then the companies were each given a night to shine. After four nights in which each champion had been tested to their limit, the final night hosted a four man tournament to decide who would challenge the champion, Angelus Delanuite, for the AoWF World Title in the main event.

The eventual tournament winner would be the Eternally Damned, who was forced two wrestle two matches in a row against the best each company had to offer and was now about to head into his third against the seemingly unquestionable champion of the time. And so, as expected, he fought hard against the fresh man, gave it his all, and eventually fell. And thus the climax of five of the biggest nights in the AoWF's history ended with Angel taking on an already battered and beaten man, cleaning up and then walking away with the belt.

This never really sat well with me.

To a fault, it was always my belief that the person at the top of any level in this sport should be the one, not put there by privilege, but by proving themselves better on each given occasion and taking, not being handed, their spot. Since then, this is what I've always strived to do. Stand at the top of the AoWF, through nothing but my own merit.

With that in mind I first broke ground with the AoWF as a member of High Impact Competition, a company that rose up from the AoWF's initial fall and gathered the best of the talent that survived. Amongst them I was very young, very rough, under-skilled and entirely out of my depth, and so for the first few months I took my lumps from PWA and AoWF Hall of Famers a like. Scott Nash Strader beat me black and blue, smashed me through a bathroom mirror and cracked my skull off a sink; Marcus Ambrose, Showtime, nearly broke my neck and the Creatures of the Night tore me to shreds one night in passing. From every fall I adapted, fought and pushed back harder than each one of them. This then pushed me toward an unprecedented rise to the top, that culminated in one night when I wrestled three fresh opponents, each at the top of their game and stopped them all on route to my first ever world title. From there I never looked back.

Naturally, with my final opponent for that night being Chamelion, the fact that he lost to what was an essentially an upstart never really sat well with him. He declared it was all just beginners luck, because no one at that point had ever entered a pay per view main event holding the belt and walked out a winner, and as such, he was determined to prove it a fluke, and show everyone he was better. In return, I defied the standard twice over, once against Showtime and once more against him when he gambled his career and got choked out for his troubles. His retirement lasted about as long as you'd expected, but he can never take back the fact that he gambled on every ounce of ego he had and lost it all.

I then went on to hold the belt for longer than anyone else in its history. There was never as competitive a champion as me.

Long after the company eventual fell. The owner lost his love for the sport and we all scattered to the winds, sticking together in our own little sects and coming together for independent events loosely held under the AoWF banner. At one of these events, Curtain Call, I took on the man who would later become Pain in our current circle, in a match that was meant to bury the hatchet between two rival groups, but instead turned into an ambush.

In the climax of the match, Pain took a shard of glass towards my eyes, settled for my arm when I put it up to block and continued digging long after he struck bone. In a fit of desperation I fought back standing, crushed his skull with a kick, lay on him for the pin and then promptly passed out in a pool of my own blood. Thunderwolf then made a very impassioned speech about how it was a fair measure of retribution for everything I'd done to him and his family. No one remembers a word of it, all eyes were on me.

The community then came together once more before this latest run when the IWL and Liberty Wrestling Federation got together to trade shows. Despite eagerly jumping to be apart of one of the company that had once been the AoWF's centrepiece, I was forced to miss the first two shows by way of a car accident. It wasn't the worst, but the result was that I was left with a broken arm and a very large bull's-eye. Vicious picked up on that, working me over in my much too hasty return match but never really managing to put me away. After giving and taking everything he could stand, he was forced to play a little fast and loose, tying my leg in the ropes and scoring a roll-up I could do nothing about. It was a match for the AoWF TV Title and a loss I took totally to heart.

A week later I teamed with the centre piece of our community and made him watch as I took the man who he had always viewed as a stain on his family, and shattered him with one very solid kick. In the blink of an eye I'd toppled the man who had long been prepped to be this community's next main attraction. I was just getting started.

A week on from that I destroyed Nightstryker back in LWF and made myself then only person to hold the top prize in both federations that rose and flourished from the death of this community's last fall. Up until now, that was the highlight of my career.

In short, every great moment of my career has been amongst and for the benefit of the federations and events that litter this community's long and illustrious history, and have always driven me to excel. And that is because the AoWF, quite literally, means everything to me. Hence why I run companies for it, search out and recruit the best talent I can find to bolster its ranks, compete for it every chance available and always, always, fight to improve on every given night. And now there's only one last thing I need, and that's to take my spot at the top of this community, just as I've always wanted, ever since my first event.

So fast forward to now. It's 2011, and after stepping over an entire company worth of talent to clinch a spot to fight for the one title at the top of the community I've fought every day to rise up through, the question is being raised: just who fought the hardest and wants it the most?

Teresa Quaranta would like you to believe that no one has fought harder to earn this spot than her. Simon Kalis would have you believe that across the world there's no one more deserving to stand on our peak. The truth is, I've fought for this spot every single time I've stepped into the ring, because for me, there was never any other title, belt or goal at the end of the road than being the AoWF World Champion.

I destroyed Frost at NoA; knocked November senseless with one kick; worked circles around Jeffery Drake, the longest reigning and greatest remembered champion in this belts history, on the eve of his family's night; crushed Scott Nash Strader in his own element; put Tommy Riley, Chamelion and Corey Lazarus down twice and definitively each time; stole the show at what looked to be the community's coup de grÔce when I pushed Showtime beyond his breaking point and made the HiC title the top prize of its time; ended Nightstryker's run as the top man in the company that was once this community's shining star and continue to improve beyond these levels each and every time, to the point where there is literally no person or goal beyond me. I proved it in Rebel when I decimated an entire company to get this shot and I'll prove it again at Honour Bound when I obliterate every other competitor, and finally reach the point I've worked for my entire career. And it's not just that I know the names, but that I've beaten the names.

This community is built on a history created by people against whom I've always excelled and always surpassed, and that doesn't end just because those names happen to have changed. I've already beaten Kalis, left O'Ryan in the dust and will crush every ounce of life from Teresa before I let any of them so much as slow me down.

I have fought as a part of this community at every single opportunity, sacrificed friends and family, broken countless bones, spilled blood from every vain and shaved years off my life just to be at the centre of this, and only ever this, community. So when Teresa or Kalis tell you that no other person has fought harder to get here than them, it's because of a body of work I've exceeded multiple times over. They've been working to get here for months while I've been working to get here for years. Sweating, bleeding and dying for a chance like this. And I know it'll be hard, but with the final prize looming so close, there's not a thing they can do on their own, or even together, to stop me.

Simply put, I will be the next AoWF World Champion, the first of this new era and the last great holder any of you will ever need.

So long, and forever.

Lisa Seldon