Two artists. Two very different pasts. One ultimate destination.
Luther Blissett and T.H.E. Other are two artists with parallel careers. They came up together in the artistic tinderbox of Glasgow, standing out as big-time players in the GSA. It was there that W.A.W.A. was born. Soon though, their true colours came out, and while Other pursued humble art focused on space, people, and the relational, while Blissett’s reputation – and ego – went “supernova”.
February 17th, 2012, the W.A.W.A. were engaged in a date with destiny as Market Gallery booked them to do a reunion show together to be named Abomination. It was meant to be a collaboration, but what the W.A.W.A. Universe got instead was a very real, very physical manifestation of pure rivalry, which ended mired in infamous controversy and the bloodied, broken body of Luther Blissett.
Ali-Frazier, Hogan-Andre, Keane-Shearer, Hart-Michaels, Hakkinen-Schumacher, Tyson-Austin, and now Blissett-Other. This match was hotly anticipated from the moment the contracts were signed, and as the tension mounted, and the promo videos aired, the crowd of 93, 000 inside Market Square Gallery were chattering in anticpation of the artistic reunion of the two former friends and now bitter enemies. The roar of T.H.E. Other’s music was met by an equally load roar from the fans. He greeted the fans around the ring and shared a respectful hand-shake with the special guest referee, James Rivers before the whole arena went deadly silent. Leaking in came the dulcet tones of Luther Blissett’s music, and the fans began booing themselves hoarse in a deafening chorus. This only seemed to egg Blissett on, who even got in to a brawl with a fan on the fay to the ring. Like T. Other, Blissett circled the ring, but instead of greeting the fans, he berated the lucky ringside fans before refusing referee Rivers’ a handshake which, if possible, only led to more boos.
The stage was set, and the two squared up, labeling each other ‘heel’ and ‘face’, marking their territory round the 20 foot by 20 foot ring, 20 foot off the ground. The rigmarole out of the way, the two looked each other in the eye before charging at each other, sprinting in to each others arms and a collar and elbow tie-up, tugging away at each other’s bodies, back and forth, for a good five minutes. Finally, Rivers intervened. This repeated another two times, and after the fourth dance of death, Rivers broke the two up again, but this time, Blissett shocked the world, and especially T. Other, with an almighty slap to the face of his unfaultable opponent.
This was only the beginning though. T. Other turned ‘t. other’ cheek to Blissett and rose above the hate to the moral high-horse, and slapped him across the chest; a move that was accompanied by sound that echoed across the arena, to be accompanied 93, 000 screaming fans wooing along with T. Other. Embarrassed and furious, Blissett reciprocated with a slap of his own, the sound of which was also accompanied by ‘woos’ delivered with more trepidation from the crowd. Like a house of dominoes, this progression slipped down a slippery slope as the two became more and more angry, slapping each other harder and faster, covering each other’s chests in jet black pigment, mixed however with droplets of blood as each warrior’s chests started to be compromised by the exchange.
Maybe it was the fatigue caused by this, or maybe it was just the desire, the need for each man to beat the other, but shortly after the blood (and tears of the child-fans) started running, the chain was broken when T. Other finally struck Blissett to the ground and locked him tight in the darndest Boston Crab some of the crowd said they had ever seen. Blissett is tougher than his demeanor lets on, however, and, using all his might, he crawled the 20 feet to the ring ropes for a clean break. His back must have been shattered, but he managed to recover, and even replenish his strength enough to catch T. Other in his dreaded figure-four grapevine, twisting Other’s legs in fifteen different directions and racking the Ultimate OperHumanist with pain. Despite the pain, Other too, like Blissett, managed to drag the two carcasses to the ropes for a not-so-clean break from Blissett. After shouting, “How Damn Good Am I!?”, Blissett got back in to the swing of things, turning Other round, sitting on his back, and pulling Other up by the chin, almost stretching Other’s spine in a 45 Degree angle. Blissett’s dominance, however, made him complacent, and he started play-riding the writhing opponent, calling his gestures ‘art’, and then begging the people to beg for more. This allowed Other to escape, but left his wrangled 7 foot body limp in the middle of the ring. Blissett, over-confident, addressed every fan individually, declaring himself ‘The Greatest Artist in the World’ in no uncertain terms, but, in no uncertain terms, allowed T. Other too much time to recover, and as a result, ended up in a passionate Ankle Lock, expertly applied by T. Other, and turning his ankle 450 Degrees round.
Compromised in the ankle and patella to a semi-permanent end, Blissett tried to escape the arena, pushing past fan after fan, deep in to the infinite crowd, but indignant, The Other plunged in to the throng straight after him, catching him quickly. It was at this point that the match became a hardcore no holds barred street fight; Other grabbing the coward Blissett by the head and launching him like a lawn dart in to a steel steel chair that had previously been wedged on the gallery wall.
The match had totally broken down. Blissett was down and busted wide open, his face a veritable crimson mask, while T. Other and a lucky member of the W.A.W.A. Universe began to set up a table comprised of Blissett’s latest painting. Even for a veteran like Rivers, who was moving between the two scenes, the chaos was too much, and he was left completely lost in the mire of bodies and the rapturous roars of the frothing crowd. Lost, Rivers decided to tend to the chair, to replenish the art work and reinstall Market Square Gallery to the best of his ability, overly-concerned with the perfection of the space exhibiting the works. Rivers’ lack of attention was to T. Other’s detriment. Re-entering the ring to attempt to finish off Blissett, he walked straight in to an under-handed, despicable action of low blow. Not only that, but with Rivers still bothering the dented and stained chair, Blissett was able to take further villainous measures. Before the match, Rivers had checked T. Other, but was refused a search from Blissett. This turned out to have good reason as at this point in the match, Blissett pulled out his trademark pipe, emblematic of Blissett’s status as well as violence and bludgeoning. Indeed, this is what it was used for; with Other downed by a blow to the grapefruits, Blissett picked him up for one last death-knell. Finally, due to the deafening outrage of the crowd, Rivers was roused just as Blissett was making the cover, and dutifully counted to three to give Blissett the win.
Blissett then launched in to a post-match vitriolic rant about his art is the only true art which was drowned out by boos and sounds of trash smashing on the body-stained canvas at the hands of the furious fans. As if encouraged by the deafening fury of the WAWA Universe, Blissett then climed to the top of Market Square Gallery’s rafters to celebrate more by one of his greatest works, the giant, iconic Portrait of Vincent Kennedy McMahon. But then, out of the ether, IT’S THE JOHNSTONE JUGGERNAUGHT! IT’S NASH! And he wasn’t there for ballet. As Blissett’s eyes sparkled with fear and awe, Nash’s baseball-like hands reached around Blissett’s neck, looked him in the eye and Chokeslammed him right off the roof, 100 feet to the floor,to crash through his own painting! And as GOD was everyone’s witness, Blissett was BROKEN IN HALF, just like his painting which he was left lying in the remains of.
And while Blissett was left, his body lying in his body of work, Nash made his way back in to the ring to meet the recovering Other. After a second of silence, Nash’s arm slowly raised, as if also controlling the joy of the crowd, which was also slowly rising yet more, and formed in to a rough approximation of a wolf – a symbol no-one yet knows the significance of. The crowd were rapturous about the comeuppance Blissett received, but a lot of questions remain. Why did Nash do what he did? Is there a reason? Did anyone ask Nash to ‘take care of Blissett’?
WHY NASH, WHY? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY!?
What an heinous Abomination.