“A moment you’ll never remember, and a night you’ll never forget.”
The first line of one Danny Divine’s entrance theme — the same one he used at Naughty Or Nice on December 17 in his final match before the main event that is still rocking the foundations of the MPW locker room and fanbase alike. This line defines the event in a nutshell, but if we don’t remember the moment it’s only because doing so is truly painful.
It’s a hard thing to watch one’s heroes fall from grace. Sometimes, however, it is understandable: in times of adversity, even the best of men can crack under pressure, or be corrupted by the promise of power and fortune. No one is above reproach — at the end of the day, we’re all only human.
This past Friday, Divine showed us his feet of clay when he stomped Barbie Boi’s head into the mat to claim the MPW World Championship for himself. An act of pure desperation, Divine squandered his chance to prove himself as a championship caliber athlete by cashing in the title shot he won earlier in the night on an already broken man. What drove him to this? It’s hard to say, and that’s what makes this sudden change in thought and action so heartbreakingly confusing.
There’s no question that Divine has been struggling for a few months now. With a hit and miss victory record in singles competition, his luck did turn around somewhat in tag team competition. However, even as one half of the Brothers Divine, he fell just a little short of gold in the tournament to crown new tag team champions, losing to Full Send alongside brother Brendan at the Anniversary Show.
Were a handful of losses enough to push him to the edge, however? Was his ego quite that frail?
Perhaps it was the intensity of those losses stacking up. Perhaps it was compounded by the disrespect shown to him by his mentor, Ray Rosas, before King Of Xtreme. Going into that battle royal, Divine had something to prove to the man that trained him, the man that set the bar for greatness in MPW. The tension between the two ran high going into the event — and never quite settled completely after Rosas pinned him for the title ‘King Of Xtreme,’ and the title shot that came with it.
Could that lack of confidence have shaken him so deeply? Was his faith in himself so badly shattered?
There was also, of course, the matter of the National Championship. One of four men who competed in a tournament for the right to be number one contender, Danny Divine was one of the first eliminated while his brother passed into the finals and won the entire thing. Brendan even went on to win the belt himself that same fateful night at Naughty Or Nice. It seemed, as Brendan’s star rose, Danny’s was flickering.
Did the success of his brother bring his downfall? Was sibling rivalry to blame?
The cold, hard answers to these questions are something we may never get. We can only speculate and wonder as we kick aside the broken shards of clay that lay around us. As of now, there is no avoiding the fact that Danny Divine wears the MPW World Championship belt — but with the opportunistic way he claimed it, and the malice of forethought that preceded his actions, it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth to call him a champion.
Champions are those who strip themselves bare to do whatever it takes, like Ray Rosas. Champions are those who will run on faith to lift that shoulder when hope is gone, like Brendan Divine. Champions are those who will revel in a challenge, and whether or not they measure up will test themselves without fear of failure, like Barbie Boi.
Danny Divine has the belt, and by sheer technicality he can use the name — but he is by no means deserving of it. Still, come what may…he is the champion.
Say your prayers, folks.