“1 + 1 = 42?”
Post Match - Trainers Room
“That was quite the nasty shot you took from Shadow”, the trainer remarked as he took me through the concussion protocol. I smiled weakly, “Ya think?”, was the only thing that popped into my brain and then out my mouth it went. “Don’t feel bad about that chief, you are far from the first person he’s sent to my room to get looked at.” I nod my head, knowing it’s true, I simply let out a deep sigh as we continue through the process. Satisfied with his testing, “I’m going to clear you, take these tonight before you go to sleep.” he says pressing a package into my hands. “What’s this?” I ask him. “Tylenol.” he replies and then adds, “If you don’t take them, you’ll have the mother of all headaches when you wake up.”. I nod and keep the package in my hand. Hopping off the table I extend my hand and he shakes it. “Thanks Doc, hopefully it’ll be awhile before I have to see you again.” I exit the trainer's room and make my way back towards the locker room.
Before I get there I see a small group huddled around a monitor. There is a vicious attack going on. A feed from earlier show’s the heinous attack by the Smoking Aces. An attack that could have killed the young woman. That young woman along with Shadow had shown me kindness and respect after my match with him. Something I wouldn’t soon forget, and something I hope to repay as soon as I could. I watch Ataxia closely, his reaction is…..not exactly what I would expect from the man. The comments by Mike Rolash sicken me, he and I may need to have a little heart to heart by the time this is over. “Fuck me, that was brutal.” is all I can say as the match begins. The Smoking Aces are clearly trying to make a statement tonight I think to myself. I continue to watch the match, several minutes pass and then the match comes to an end, an unexpected conclusion to be sure.
The Chaos in the ring, and finally one of the antagonist cornered with nowhere to run. Jace Valentine? “What in the actual fuck was he thinking?”, I shake my head in dismay and others around the monitor are just as shocked as I am. “I knew he wasn’t bright, but….c’mon man!”, I exclaim a bit too loudly causing my headache to return. I sigh deeply as I watch on, “If I know Ataxia at all, and I do know him well, there’s a price….I don’t think Valentine is ready to pay that price. No price for the Aces, you’re in over your head and you don’t even realize it yet.” I say mostly to myself as I make my way to the locker room.
Once in the locker room, I take the two tylenol that were offered by the trainer and hope the pounding in my skull will subside. I sit in the chair in front of my locker and lean forward. With my elbows on my knees, I allow my head to sink into my hands. I massage my temples for a short time and then I begin to think out loud.
“This has been one hell of a night. Tonight was bad, tomorrow will be worse, not for me personally but for others. Tonight, The Forsaken has their heart ripped out. I’ve been following CWF for quite some time, even before I thought to come back to wrestling. I’ve watched them grow, they are more like family than virtually any group I’ve ever been around. Only one can be compared to them that I’ve known personally. The Suicide Saints. That however is history, a history lesson for another day perhaps. Why would I care about them you might ask. Two reasons….Ataxia….and Dorian. I know both of them personally.
Ataxia and I go back a little ways….Boardwalk Wrestling to be exact. This however is not the Ataxia I had come to know, respect and detest with every fiber of my being. At this point I’m not entirely certain it’s even the same man under that mask. The Ataxia I knew, wouldn’t have given two shits about what happened to Mia. Unlike Dorian who has always worn his heart on his sleeve. How would I know this? Simple really….”
I pull the old picture out once again. A picture of a younger Dorian Hawkhurst and Jimmy Allen. In the background of the picture you can make out the neon of a casino.
“See, Dorian and I met in Atlantic City, New Jersey. We struck up a friendship at a special event being put on by Boardwalk, he was there as a spectator. It was an event to celebrate the life of James Avery and to raise money for local charities. He was a much different person then, to say the least. There’s an old southern rock anthem that talks about he drank enough whiskey to float a battleship around. We drank enough whiskey together to float an aircraft carrier around…..good times. That’s enough about history for the time being.”
/Scene Fades to Black
Two Days Later…
The Crooked M Ranch
The training center that the old man had built all those years ago, well, it had a recent renovation done on it. Pops, when I decided to go back to work, he did all of this with help from old friends. Now when you look around this place it’s nothing but brand new equipment, including our training ring. The whole damn place smelled “new” to me. Except for right now, sweat dripping from the both of us, we take a break, which cue’s up pop to get on his soap box again.
The man formerly known as “The One Man Wrecking Crew” Mac Bane stood there yelling at me, not because he was angry but because he was concerned. He was also convinced I was about to commit another blatant act of stupidity. He finally quit yelling and rested both hands on my shoulders. In a calm clear voice he said, “Do not insert yourself into their war Jimmy. Don’t you remember the last time?”. I look up into his eyes and there is genuine concern there, “I do, I had to insert myself into yours and Uncle Myke’s war. Which of course led to my “loser leave town match” with Amp.” He removes his hands from my shoulders and sighs heavily. “Son, I know you want to do what you think you need to. You and Dorian are not all that different when it comes to that.” I shrug my shoulders, “It’s a curse of our generation pops.”. “Just know that I haven’t made any decisions yet as to whether I’m going to insert myself into their war. I haven’t even decided what we’re having for lunch yet.” Mac laughs and then stops, “Don’t try to diffuse me kid, I’ve always supported your decisions, whether I agree with them or not. Plus, we’re having pulled pork for lunch.” Now it was my turn to laugh, the old man loved his barbeque, not doubt about that.
“So, who’s your dance partner this week?”, he asks, talking about my next opponent. I respond, “Autumn Raven is her name.” He smiles at the name, he still loves to scout for me even in his retirement. “Did you get the information on her?”. I smile when I reply, “Of course, you’re the best scout that ever walked the isle pops. I’d be stupid not to read your scouting reports.” He laughs and slaps my shoulder, “Right you are my boy, now then, let’s go eat.” It’s almost as if on cue my gut starts to rumble and I laugh. “Alright, food it is, then back to work.”. I have to train harder, and get better, this has to be my mindset now. I continue putting my sparring gear back up in my locker. Dad heads for the ranch house while I continue to put things away. A camera sits on a tripod not far away, “Hell why not...I need to get a promotional in for the website.”. I grab the remote and begin the recording….
“So much confusion and chaos surrounds everything we are trying to do in the company right now. The Forsaken and whatever Jace Valentine is calling his group are trying to kill each other….literally. The attack on Mia did not go unnoticed, far from it. The message was received loud and clear by many of us. Eventually people will have to start choosing sides. After the match I had with Shadow, my course is clear, you see with the condition I was in….Mia and Shadow could have done anything they chose to do to me and I would have been helpless to stop it. They chose instead to show respect.
That has always gone a long way with me, and in case my intentions are not clear. Well, let’s just say that they will be at the next television tapings. The apple didn't fall far from the tree, I think is the best way to say it. I’ve never been one to go along to get along, no far from it. If it’s not against the grain then it’s not me. I’m as subtle as a sledgehammer and about as diplomatic as one. There are however, other matters to attend to first.
Autumn Raven; we’ve both been on a bit of losing streak as of late. Only one of us can win. We both have things that are distracting us a bit at the moment. As you deal with your former partner and his shenanigans….I have my own shit to deal with as well. Which will prevail? Can you overcome the shadow that you are fighting so hard to break free from? I think you already have and people are just not getting it.
See, the difference between me and most people you will face in this industry, I don’t care about your past. I know all about escaping the shadows of others. The old man was a two time world champion, something I’ve never achieved. In certain circles he is a legend, he is a measuring stick that others are judged by. He casts a large shadow, so how do I escape his larger than life silhouette? I don’t. I came to grips with that a long time ago. I don’t try to escape his shadow, just as he doesn’t try to cast one. I have always been and always will be my own man. I never used his name in this business to try and get ahead of the rest of the pack. I just focus on being who I am and not what he is or was to anyone.
You’ve had a rocky road to say the least, I don’t want you however to confuse my saying this with me feeling sorry for you or trying to empathize with you. We all have our demons to wrestle with. You keep talking about yours while me and mine….we get along just fine.”
With than I wink at the camera and stop the recording.