Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Tale of Two Monsters


In the confines of a room far from the Manhattan Center and the bright lights of the city, a woman sits alone in the dark. She should be asleep but she is not; she has not slept in days and will not sleep for more. Although she has been called a monster and has done monstrous things, in a different time and place things could have been different for Havok. For anyone who has ever seen her smile, her face is genuinely pretty, but no one sees her smile, not anymore. After all, monsters are not suddenly born — monsters are created either through their own psychosis or through the heinous crimes of others. Just how Havok got to be who she is, is a combination of both of those things, but even then it doesn't explain why a defiant destroyer turned from a rolling death machine, laying to waste six other women, to backing away in fear from another woman. But not just any other woman...

In Japan there is a rite of passage for young women wishing to become professional wrestlers. It starts early in their training and separates those who want to make it from those who only thought they did. That rite of passage involves them being beaten, almost to the point of unconsciousness, by a veteran trainer. At the end, the young girl, if she survives, must stand, bow and thank the veteran for the beating. It can seem a strange or even cruel induction, but it instills a toughness that may not be there or, in the case of the one whom the veteran ladies named "Little Kong," elevates an already instilled toughness to the surface. Some say that in the history of GAEA and All Japan Women, no trainee has ever smiled during the induction beating the way Kong did. It should come as no surprise that soon after, "Little Kong" became "Amazing Kong." Today, she prefers Awesome Kong...

"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

All little girls should be told that they are pretty and made to feel special, but Havok never felt pretty, not even as a child. She felt different and as such, acted accordingly. Maybe if someone told her that it's okay to be different, things might have been different but as she grew into a teenager, she began to dress and look different than the other girls did, and settled into the role of the outcast. You see, people fear what they don't understand, and no one understood Havok, but once she withstood the barbs and stood up to the bullying, what she saw in the eyes of others was fear. Fear was something she knew she could use. Fear could open doors for her where her looks and her body would not. She figured that if people wanted a monster, she would give them a monster...

Unshackled from the chains of being a trainee, once Kong was unleashed in the East she cut a swathe through Japanese wrestling unlike any Western woman had ever done. Most gaijin go to Japan, afraid of the stiffness and toughness of the sport, but Kong had already proven she knew no fear. No stranger to hearing whispers about her size, Kong used her hatred as her motivation to be better than everyone else. In a world full of Barbies, she was determined to become the "Barbie Crusher" and to do that, she would need to return to the United States, to TNA Wrestling and the Knockouts division. For over two years, Kong dominated the ranks before departing as quickly as she arrived. Much has been written about why Kong left TNA but if you ask her, she will say it was because there were no challenges left. Sometimes for a monster to feel tested, they must battle another monster and at the time TNA did not have another monster, until now...

"My life, though it may only be a collection of anguish, is dear to me and I will defend it."
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The TNA Knockouts Championship is more than a title belt; it is a symbol that everyone else was wrong, that those who teased her for being different were wrong not to celebrate her uniqueness. More than anything, it is a reminder that she became the monster she always wanted to be: dominant and defiant. Without that championship, Havok begins to question herself. Parts of her fragile psyche begin to crumble. She was supposed to begin 2015 by regaining that title; it was not meant to begin with a loss and a retreat from another woman. It is this that keeps Havok awake at night, and she will not sleep until she comes face to face with that woman and makes her back away. You see, the things we hate are the things that remind us of our own worst parts, and make no mistake, Awesome Kong is a mirror image of the horrors and the hell of Havok...

In Havok, Kong has found her challenge: a beast of a woman, fearless and remorseless. In another time and place they might even have bonded over their common hatred for others but for now, the idea of defeating the one who reminds her most of herself is the most exciting challenge of her career since her days in the dojos of Japan. Kong knows that Havok is not afraid. It was the element of surprise that perhaps caught her off guard but next time, Kong knows that her younger rival will not back away. When the two finally lock horns, it will be a war for the ages. The landscape of the Knockouts division may never be the same again, once these two monsters have finished telling their tale. The other ladies in the division should be afraid... very, very afraid.

"If I cannot inspire love, I will inspire fear."
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley