There Will Be No Mention of _______’s Name Tonight
Here is what you need to know: _______ killed his wife and 7-year-old son in their own home. _______’s wife, Nancy, was found in an upstairs family room with her hands and feet bound and blood pooled underneath her skull. _______’s son, Daniel, was found dead in his bed. Autopsy reports determined that both victims died of asphyxiation. Speculation was that _______ killed them utilizing his own finishing maneuver, the Crippler Crossface, a modified neck crank where _______ would wrap his hands around his victims’ face and neck, applying pressure to the throat and shoulders. This was not true: Nancy was strangled by a cord while _______ pressed a knee into her back. _______ heavily sedated Daniel on Xanax. _______ left a copy of the Bible left by his body. _______ committed suicide by creating a noose utilizing the end of a cord on a pull-down cable weight machine. _______ was found hanging from the pulley cable. The official press release read “World Wrestling Entertainment is deeply saddened to report that today _______ and his family were found dead in their home. There are no further details at this time, other than the _______ family residence is currently being investigated by local authorities. Tonight’s Raw on USA Network will serve as a tribute to _______ and his family. WWE extends its sincerest thoughts and prayers to the _______ family’s relatives and loved ones in this time of tragedy.” . _______’s entrance music was named “Rabid”. _______ disappeared from canon, but it wasn’t until it was found out that _______ committed a double-murder. They should’ve seen the signs: _______was the only man who would take chair shots to the back of the head. _______ is the pause when an undersized wrestler is asked to list their influences, the people they loved to watch when they were growing up, the one’s they wanted to be like. _______ is a word that is not allowed to be said on air and here are a few others: belt, strap, shot. _______’s signature maneuver was a diving head butt. _______ was kind and kept to himself. _______ was a man who killed two people. _______ was remembered fondly. The day after _______’s death, they ran a tribute show with his greatest matches: the triple threat, the wire-to-wire rumble win. Other wrestlers spoke openly about what _______ meant to them. The day after, _______ was redacted. _______ is what we think of when we think of roid rage, of snapping. _______ is why they don’t show blood anymore, why when someone is split open the hard way, the referees put latex gloves on—the fear that whatever made _______ kill his family could be transmitted by blood, leaked through our pores, stinging our eyes. _______ is why wrestling is not for children, why family members ask me when my younger cousins are going to grow out of this stage—when they are going to stop trying to make each other submit to headlocks in the basement. _______ had a strange sense of humor. _______ is why nothing looks real anymore, as if it looked real in the first place; why we reserve the chairs for gut shots and slaps on the broadsides of backs. You could’ve predicted this. We all could have predicted this—everything in this industry is premeditated. Fourteen hours before they found the bodies of _______ and his family, an anonymous source on Wikipedia posted that _______ missed his championship match because his wife died. The source posted it as a joke, an awful coincidence. Wrestlers fall a certain way before the phoenix splash, the tope con hilo. One man must lose so another man can gain. We all get our wins back after a tough loss. Wrestling is a joke full of awful coincidences. _______ felt he wasn’t safe. _______ would drive backroads to the gym. _______ would triple-check his alarm system. Friends called _______ “Houdini” due to his tendency to disappear. Another word for the tope con hilo is the suicide dive. _______ had no skills outside of wrestling. _______ was going to open up a wrestling academy in Atlanta, Georgia where he would teach students to wrestle in his image. _______ sent multiple text messages that read My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayetteville Georgia. 30215. _______ sent multiple messages that read The dogs are in the enclosed pool area. Garage side door is open. _______ was concerned about the dogs. Nancy was killed on Friday evening between 11pm and 1am. Daniel was murdered on Saturday morning. _______ killed himself on Sunday evening. _______ stayed in the house with the bodies. _______ tried to book a flight to go wrestle—to pretend to cause pain to another man while making sure that they were, in fact, not hurt. _______’s real life name is _______. In the dead of night, I stopped for gas outside of Fayetteville, Georgia. I read the signs. The sun had gone down. I thought to myself, this is where _______ killed his family. This is the exit _______ took to get to the airport to catch a flight to Houston, to headline a pay-per-view, to embark on a European tour where they would pronounce his last name correctly: they wouldn’t pronounce the hard “T”, it would trail off in the air like a sunset. _______’s wife’s wrestling name was Woman. On the day WWE opened up their digital archive service, I searched for _______. No results were found for that term. Please try a new search. I checked the spelling, making sure I did not flip the vowels, that everything seemed in place. They confuse the letters in my name too. You can still find _______’s matches if you know where to look: if you knew he main-evented Wrestlemania XX, if you remembered he was the mystery partner during War Games. I know where to look. WWE doesn’t use the word war anymore. Before his matches, a disclaimer that reads that “WWE characters are fictitious and do not reflect the personal lives of the actors portraying them.” _______ was an actor playing the role of _______. If you search your own name, _______, no results will be found for that term. What it is to search for something and find it. This could be any woman, found bludgeoned to death in her own bedroom. This could be any body found. _______ could be you. _______ could be your name—this is the beauty of never existing, of being redacted. My name is _______. _______’s real name is _______. My dogs are in the enclosed pool area. In the world that we would like to imagine, Woman and Child are still alive. They never met a man named _______. The child would be named something else: named after a father that is not _______, another man who would not grab his bicep to see if the muscles of puberty were beginning to set in. The triple-threat becomes a singles match. The story is rewritten to reflect this, yet there is no alternative story because _______ does not exist. This is the story that has always been. You and I could live in a world where wrestlers could still take chair shots to the back of the head, to the temple. We could be heroes here. We could fill up our tanks and leave. We could leave garage side doors open. The dogs are free. We cannot predict what would happen. We do not know what facts would be false, and which would ring true in our ears like the high-pitched whir after a black out. What a world this would be. What a world we could create. I search your name. It comes up blank.