By Chris Small.
What makes a Champion?
It’s a difficult question to give just one answer to. As with anything in the world of professional wrestling, the journey to the top is taken in many ways, with vastly varying routes.
Does this make one journey more effective than others? And what about those who are still trying to navigate the path? What words of wisdom can be distilled down to those so very close to getting there?
For current MCW Women’s Champion Jessica Troy, it is about laying the foundation for what she believes will be a healthy future for her fellow competitors.
“A Champion is a leader of not only the division, but the company as a whole and its wrestlers.” Says Troy. “My goal is to level everyone around me up, in a respectful and empowering way. If I’m going to be a champion in MCW I want to make others the best with me.”
It’s a noble mindset, and one that has carried Jessica to multiple impressive victories as title holder. With her win over Cherry Stephens last month, Troy now holds the record for most successful defences of the MCW Women’s Title.
Is that the answer then? Does a Champion lead by example, elevating both the climate and the competitors? History would deem this to be a valid answer, as the MCW faithful have watched wrestlers turn into legends before their eyes, in many ways due to the calibre of talent across the ring from them.
So if this is true, what is the example that a Champion should set?
For DELTA, the current number one contender to the throne, it is a mentality of survival of the fittest, punishing those who fail to step up rather than celebrating a journey that comes up short.
“What Troy is trying to do in this division, to build everyone she fights against up, to be on the same platform and to be equal is garbage” says DELTA when asked about her title opportunity at New Horizons. “The whole POINT of a championship is that someone’s on top, and you have to fight your way to get there. If [Troy] wants to hand out participation awards, she can. While she’s at it she can give one to herself. But MY goal is to be the champion and to sit on top.
DELTA takes a moment, pausing to let the next point sink in
“EVERYONE’S goal should be to be champion”
Is this what makes a Champion then? Dedication, grind, and ruthlessness? Has DELTA found an alternative, but equally effective roadmap to achieving her goals, to win the biggest fight of her career thus far?
Her resume speaks for itself, laying to waste many of the same opponents that Troy has put away; one of many parallels that run deep between the two women. Yet when pointing out the similarities of their careers and, in a strange way, their mindsets, Jessica is quick to dispel any notion of commonality with her opponent.
“The difference between Delta and myself is she oozes confidence while putting others down, disrespecting everyone in the division and only empowering herself.” Troy emphasizes.
It’s an interesting counterpoint, and one that specifically highlights two recurring themes when speaking to both challenger and defender: respect and confidence.
Are these what make a champion? And in what capacity?
Confidence to Jessica Troy is something that is continuously being gained through her tenure as a Title Holder in MCW; through every battle, every interaction with a fellow wrestler, and every new experience.
“I’ve been working so hard on my confidence in the ring and backstage around my peers” Troy shares when asked to elaborate on this. “Whenever I travel overseas for wrestling I feel I am representing Australia itself. Obviously holding a MCW champion I feel much closer and protective of Melbourne wrestling, which is why I am always working so hard on improving my skills and training so I can bring it up with me.”
However, Troy is adamant in setting the record straight about her level of confidence going into New Horizons, and dispelling the claims DELTA has been making on social media in recent weeks.
“I have NOT been avoiding DELTA. I want to fight her. I’m looking forward to it”
Similarly, DELTA is adamant about setting the record straight on that second recurring theme in the lead up to this match: respect.
“Now that Jessica Troy is Champion, I’ve waited 9 months to have a match with her. 9 months.” DELTA says as she reflects on how she arrived to where she finds herself now.
“The word respect is being thrown around a lot, mostly by Jessica troy. Respect has to be earned. These past few matches I’ve won, and the other competitor has come up to me, to shake my hand, as a show of respect. If I’ve just beaten them in 10 minutes, my respect isn’t earned that way. It takes more than that to earn my respect, so I’ll do what needs to be done and take out the trash, and put my house in order.”
Interestingly enough as the conversation continues, while never outright saying it, DELTA indicates that there may be a begrudging modicum of respect for “The Arm Collector”.
“Look, I’ve never faced someone like Jessica Troy. She is one of Australia’s top competitors. It’s a lot. But I’m capable of beating her. She has quick tactics and, fair enough, once she gets my arm, I may be done for. But once I get her feet off the ground and she’s on my shoulders, SHE could be done for.”
It’s at this point that what Jessica has previously mentioned about the Number One Contender’s confidence level is on full display
“What I’ve done so far has worked. I’m winning. I’m dominating, why would I change anything?”
DELTA’s strategy is locked in. So is Troy’s.
“If I’m completely honest, I’m probably more comfortable going up against someone like Delta with the power advantage,” The Champion admits when asked to speak on how she’s been preparing for New Horizons. “Being the smaller wrestler is the position I’ve been in for a majority of my career. The only difference in the last few years is that I’m no longer the underdog. I’ll let my skill, experience and success speak for me.”
An excellent closing remark, one that indicates that the time for talking in this feud is quickly coming to an end. DELTA’s actions in the ring have spoken for her. Troy’s accolades have done the same.
What makes a Champion? At New Horizons, both women will do everything they can to show the world their answer to that question.
New Horizons streams LIVE on FITE TV from 7:30pm (AEST) on Saturday 10th September – ORDER NOW
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