Over the past couple of weeks, I have done a lot of soul searching. In a profession where you are constantly pushed to your limits physically, mentally, and emotionally, often times you arn't given the chance to sit back and evaluate yourself. To envision who you are and where you'd like to be is an after thought. It's all about making sure you deliver each time you step out there. There is no thoughts of what the future holds, just what you have to do now to make sure you have a future.
To say that this rings true in EVOLVE is an understatement. In a company that is founded on a win loss record completely, you have to be focused on the present time or you will quickly find yourself with a lossing record. This was my exact case at EVOLVE 3. I was so excited (and still am) on being a part of this company, that I kept saying to myself "Someday I hope to be as good as a Bryan Danielson, as good as a Chris Hero." With that someday mindset, Sami Callihan had his vision of "I will be 1-0 tonight, because I am as good as anyone here," and he was right in his thought. He defeated me in both of our debuts. This was when my mind started to make a change...
Come EVOLVE 4, I had an even harder challenge in Johnny Gargano. I knew that if I didn't beat Johnny, none of the boys in the locker room, none of the fans, would take me seriously. I needed to prove to them, and prove to myself, that I belonged here in EVOLVE. And I did that. At EVOLVE 4, I defeated Johnny Gargano in what some are calling the biggest upset in the company's history. I gained the respect of my peers that night, and more importantly, I gained that respect in myself. However, there's one man who hasn't shown me any respect since I've arrived here in EVOLVE. That man is Jimmy Jacobs.
Jimmy, from the very first EVOLVE show you have treated me not as your equal, but as a boy who doesn't deserve to breath the same air as you. I took all of your insults, because I had done nothing to earn your respect and had been questioning my abilities. I would often lie awake at night and think to myself "Do you have what it takes? Do you belong here?" I'm here to tell you Jimmy, that not only do I belong here in EVOLVE, but I am better than you are. Nobody on this planet wants to be the best more than I do Jimmy, and you will find that out September 11.
I actually want to thank you for all that you've done for me Jimmy. With all your insults, all your degrading comments, you've made me realize that you can't rely how you feel about yourself based on what others think of you. You made me realize that when I wake up, I take all of those negative comments that you have made and I use them as fuel to make me work even harder. My mind is clear, my vision is set. Jimmy, I will be looked at as one of the greats someday, and there is nothing that you can say or do that will stop me.
Thank you Jimmy Jacobs, for the much needed wake up call.