“Right, well, if that is everything for today, then you might as well all get back to work. Thanks for your time.”
A rumble of low chatter filled the boardroom as a number of well dressed men and women rose from their executive chairs, collecting notebooks and laptops, conversing amongst themselves as they filed neatly out of the room. All but one. The man sat at the head of the table remained seated, his chin resting on his interlocked fingers. He watched every other person file through the double doors at the other end of the room with his piercing green eyes, seemingly not even breathing until every other human soul had vacated the space. As soon as the doors had swung closed for the last time, he pushed back his own chair, standing and looking over the room.
For a moment, he took stock of the world around him. Knowing what was to come next, he thought back over a decade, back to the kid with all the drive in the world and not a dollar in his pocket. The kid living out of the back of cars and in cheap, questionable motels. Now, he stood here at the head of this boardroom of a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. The question remained then, the very same question he had been asked a lot over the last few days. Why?
With his hands in his trouser pockets, he walked to the glass walls of the room, staring out over the bustling city of Hong Kong. In less than 24 hours he would be boarding his private plane on the way towards Toronto, ready to do something that he had not done in a year, something he said he would never do again, yet the pull was far too much, and when that call came a week ago, when that familiar grumble of J.Rish came down that line, he found himself unable to say no. Unable to stick to his guns, and now, the reality of the situation was staring him in the face, that age old question.
“Can I still go?”
A question he really did not know the answer to, the question that plagued his mind throughout days and days of mindless and boring meetings, that very question that almost made him change his mind about this arrangement.
After all, the last go around hadn’t gone that well, yeah, he re-established himself as one of the greats of the ring, a man worthy of his hall of fame accolade. But being one of the best is simply not good enough. His mind wandered back to the days when he really was on top of the world, the time when he went over a year without taking a loss, when he held the Atlantic City championship for longer than anyone else in history. Those days were the glory days. The last time he had walked into Championship Wrestling Federation’s ring, he threatened to derail that entire legacy when he lost the opportunity to reclaim the world heavyweight champion. Would this time be any different? Would this time result in a different outcome?
“You know, you should probably do something more productive with your work day than stare out of a window?”
So wrapped up in his thoughts, he hadn’t even notice the doors swing open once again, but that voice was unmistakable. He couldn’t help but let a grin creep across his face as he turned to face her. Claudia Thorn was sat on the table, dressed in her very best cut off denims, loose tank and and six inch heels, her red hair flowing down her back glistening in the summer sun coming through the wall of windows. Danny took a step towards her, his clean and crisp black Armani suit now suddenly looking at little out of place when compared to his personal secretary (at least as far as the tax man was concerned) and closet ally in the world.
“Pray tell my hard working assistant, what can I be doing to make my day more productive?”
She sprung up from the table, landing with unnatural grace on those six inch heels and walked towards him. Getting into his personal space, she placed her finger on his chest, before moving around him, dragging said finger across his body as she did so. Once directly behind him, she removed her finger from him, instead pulling at the bundle of golden hair sitting at the base of his head, releasing his long golden locks from the hair tie that held them in. A shake of the head later and said golden hair was now flowing freely done the back and over the shoulders of the man standing before her. Claudia walked back to the table, lifting herself onto it and admiring her work.
“Much better… now, about having some fun…”
“That’s your meaning of ‘productive’ is it? Having fun?”
“Oh come on? What more have you really got to do today anyway? Haven’t you got people for everything?” Her words were coy, she already knew the answer, and she knew she could get him to do whatever she wanted.
“I do… what it is you are looking to do today my darl? I imagine you’re not looking for a sightseeing expedition?”
“Well… I was thinking that we cut out some of the journey time you’d have tomorrow... “
Danny shook his head again, that smile creeping back across his face once again, having a funny suspicion of what she was about to ask.
“... by going for a drink in Tokyo. I mean, by the time we would get there it would be close to five anyways?”
“Yeah, that and sushi right?”
“Well, seeing as you’re offering!”
So, there you have it, in a nutshell, that is the life of The Ripper in 2018. A far cry from young and hungry kid that crashed the party at WrestleFest nine years before. One thing had not changed in all that time however, one thing that managed to stick in the back of his mind no matter what happened, the people didn’t accept him then, and they didn’t accept them now. Back then the people weren’t ready to accept that this kid could change the business forever, and now they were not willing to accept that he had changed it. Only in this business could you be rejected for being better than everyone else.
That’s why he had gone into business, that’s why when Ankh enterprises became his, he took that bull by the horns and rode it into riches. There’s none of that pushed down for being too good bollocks, none of that having to appease the right people to get anywhere, no, in this world he was the boss, he was the top dog and there was no one to stand in his way. In this industry he was rewarded for crushing those measly pretenders under his feet, so the question remains. Why?
Why was it that instead of finishing his day at work, was he telling the heads of the Hong Kong office that he would be leaving early? Why was it that instead of hitting the gym and making sure he was in the best shape possible, he was boarding his plane and taking off for Tokyo? Why instead of focusing on his opponent and the opportunity at hand, was he sitting down for a standing reservation at one of the best sushi houses in Tokyo? Well… I’ll let him get to that eventually, you don’t want the whole story spoiled already do you?
No instead, we shall skip the meal element, the conversation was fun and all, but not really something that I think you would all be entertained by. Instead we shall rejoin the action at around 8pm as the two of them are about to enter Ageha nightclub, ready to make this night vanish from their minds forever. Now, as many of you would have gathered by now, Danny has a taste for the high life, something about not being able to once upon a time and all. Well, this night was no different, and after passing Claudia his credit card, Ripper went to find himself a booth to sit in. It wasn’t that hard when you could slip a bouncer a 10k Yen note after all. Two minutes later Claudia returned empty handed. She slipped in beside Ripper at the booth, sliding his card back into his breast pocket. Knowing full well that what she had bought would be with them in a moment, Danny unbuttoned his suit jacket, relaxing back and taking in the moment.
True to form, a minute later two gorgeous Japanese waitresses came to the table, one with two pitchers in her hand, the other with a tray on top of which sat a jug filled with ice, two highball glasses and a bowl of sectioned limes, as well as two filled mystery shot glasses. They were kind enough to pour each patron a glass of this mystery cocktail each, and both took great pleasure in downing the shots, Danny shuddering slightly with the aftertaste.
“What in the blue fuck was that?" He shouted over the techno music pumping through his ears.
“How the fuck should I know? I don’t speak Japanese!”
Both broke out in a fit of mirth, leaning back into their padded leather seats and surveying the scene before them. Hundreds of young revellers before them, both domestic and gaijin living their best lives as they downed booze and steadied themselves for a night of love, laughter and life. It didn’t take long for the pitcher to be empty, and for Danny and Claudia to be feeling a little worse for wear. They were also not alone any longer. The booth was now filled with young men and women all making themselves at home as the drinks continued to flow. In fact, it turned into a rotating cast, as one got up for whatever reason, another would soon take his spot, and it mattered not whether they could speak English or not, the conversation flowed, body language told the rest of the story, and the drink smoothed over the cracks easy enough. Claudia eventually excused herself to go and smoke, leaving the table with left arm around a young blonde white tourist, and her right around a cute Japanese girl. Danny, who has quit smoking some of you may be please to know, happily watched in a haze as more people filled the three empty spots on the booth, all seemingly shouting over him as the drinks just kept coming and coming.
Ten hours ago he was wrapping up a board meeting, successful, but bored, and simply asking why. Now, he was fucked up, living the way he truly wanted to live and had the answer. Such a shame he wouldn’t remember it in the morning. To be honest, he didn’t even really pay attention to the three latest additions being joined by a fourth friend, necessitating the need for the really cute girl to his left to need to shift onto his lap, nor did he notice when ten minutes later Claudia dropped by the table to let him know that she may be busy for the rest of the night, her lipstick already smudged, nor did he really clock when the cute girl on his lap stuck her tongue down his throat. No, he didn’t notice much at all...
That was until he woke up the next day, stark bollock naked in his hotel bed. As he tried to stop his head from thumping, he slowly opened his eyes. Years of experience had lead him to learn a valuable lesson. If you don’t remember getting to bed, survey the situation immediately.
So he did. Clue number one was his suit trousers hanging off the wall TV opposite… makes sense… clue number two was the curtains not having been pulled closed… made plenty of sense. The kicker came when he examined the warm, smooth figure he noticed was to his right, and although not entirely sure, he did remember the face as someone that was literally very close to him at some point last night. Rolling to the left provided a further clue, as a young man was crashed out adorned in the same attire as our hero. This did make clambering out of bed a tricky task, but one he almost achieved without tripping in the sheets and landing on his back on the carpeted hotel floor. One other thing he had learned to check, and that was to make sure his credit card was still findable. The worry was over fairly swiftly as he found it in his shoe, which in turn was in the bathroom sink. A rap at the door would draw his attention away from his next part of the protocol (finding and checking his phone), causing him to stumble back through the room, tripping over a heeled shoe he did not recognise and over to the door, which he opened wide, forgetting that all was on show for the world to see.
“Morning to you too soldier. Figured you would be up by now.”[
Claudia Thorn. No matter how hard this bitch went the night before, she was still able to be bright hard and bushy tailed the next morning. Even worse, he could see that she had changed into a pair of leather pants, and was carrying four cups of starbucks coffee with her. She placed the cup holder on the bedside table, before perching herself on the end of the bed. Danny grabbed a cup, picked his sunglasses up from the vanity table (seemingly the only item of clothing to stay in the place he put it), put them on his face and sat down next to Thorn, sipping away at his coffee.
“So, let’s play a game. Ten points if we can comfortably name either of the people behind me.” She cocked her head over her shoulder, not taking her eyes off Ripper. One slight giveaway to her night before was the thickness of her eye makeup, something subtle, but Ripper noticed it all the time. Also, her hear was currently tied up into a neat bun at the back of her head, something that would usually indicate that she had alcohol spilled onto it at some point.
“Very fucking funny Thorn. Nice of you to announce yourself this morning.” Danny was surprised by just how croaky his voice was.
“You’re doing enough announcing yourself for the both of us. Besides, I tried calling, your answer message was something like ‘I’m balls deep in the orient right now, please suck it after the tone.’”
Most would be abashed at such a thing, Danny however, seemed to come to a new conclusion.
“Ahhh… now I remember, the phone must be…” He trailed off as he rummaged under the covers, coming up with his Galaxy a minute later, wiping it on the covers, going to stick it in his pocket before remembering that he currently had none at the moment, and simply leaving it beside him. “What are you here for anyways Claud?”
“The plane leaves in two hours, wanting to make sure you had time to wash your balls before we left.”
Behind his mirrored aviators, Danny’s eyes widened. He had simply gone and fucking forgotten needing to travel to Toronto for Evolution. Pushed it totally out of his mind. As he rushed around gathering clothes and such, Claudia gently woke Ripper’s new friends, calmly gave them each a drink and directed them towards their clothes, which were strewn around different places in the room, and chortled a little as they essentially sprinted from the room half dressed.
“Don’t know what your laughing about, how did your night go?”
“Fine thank you, somewhat entertaining. How much did you spend in the end anyways?”
“Enough that I don’t remember, now, get the fuck on with it, it’s gonna take an hour in this traffic, let’s go go go!”
She didn’t need telling twice, she swaggered out the room as if she had slept a full 10 hours sleep and had a workout in the morning. Which, as he thought about it, she probably had.
The traffic wasn’t as bad as they thought, and luckily they made it to the airport with time to spare, and before so long, he was settled in that all too familiar chair. Alyssa the flight attendant was happily serving drinks, of which Claudia took a gin and tonic, and Danny took an alka-seltzer. When the flight had taken off, and Danny seemed to have relaxed somewhat, Claudia found it time to ask the burning question. Why?
“You know, I have been asking myself the same question ever since I agreed to come back. I have no reason to, not even a real want to, but yet, when this phone call came, despite the fact I have ignored the other fifty calls I have gotten from him, no I have no real answer. But it felt right, same as it felt right showing up in Montreal and putting that overhyped asshole Colton Mace down.
Maybe I just like making an impact, I don’t know, maybe I’m just bored, maybe the bloodlust never really goes away. What I do know is when that miserable excuse for a promoter called me up and said and I need you back, I said yes this time. Thing is, I don’t think I care any longer, why waste time on the why, when I can spend time on the what, and the what is what I am going to do now that I am back.”
Claudia leaned back into the chair, seemingly somewhat disappointed. She sipped on her drink, thinking over how she was going to probe him yet. She thought she knew him, thought she knew him inside out, but this was a move she didn’t see coming, a question she did not have an answer for.
“And what is that exactly?”
“I’ll be honest, I haven’t thought it all through. All I know, is that when I show up on Thursday, I will come face to face with a man that for eight years I have been waiting to kick his emo fucking face in. That sorry excuse for a mantard probably doesn’t even remember the steel cage match we had on the lead up to WrestleFest 2, when he was so far up the ass of The Blue Scorpion he could tell what Mitch had for breakfast. Back then he was a snivelling little fuckasaur that couldn’t help but latch onto whatever delusional asshole felt they were wholesome enough to take care of a poor little three legged dickless puppy. Now, this three legged dickless puppy comes back to CWF telling Caledonia that he deserves to be in a championship tournament? Bitch please, I’ve done more for this industry in the time I have been away than that Wankmuffin has ever done whilst in the ring.
What am I going to do to him? Make sure that he doesn’t get this big comeback story he wants. CWF has become soft in my absence, seems no one really has that killer instinct any longer. Hell, even the man that tried to end my life, and not for the first time, Ataxia, what’s he doing nowadays?
I am not here to write a comeback story, I am not here looking for redemption or my former glory, I have no idea why I came back, but I do know that while I am back, I am going to paint the canvas red. It starts with Colton Mace, it starts with an excuse for a man, one that comes and goes when he pleases, not because like me he has achieved everything he needs to, but because after a while he realises just how pathetic he is, and so he simply fucks off into oblivion.
See, there is a massive difference between he and I, he thinks he’s kind of a big deal, I am a big fucking deal. I am a game changer, a revolutionary, he’s a blip, a trivia question. Not so pretty boy, let me tell you something. When we last met, I was nothing, I mean I was still the best CWF had to offer, but that is nothing. Since then I have become the best in the world and you have done NOTHING!
We shall meet this week, I shall break your fucking neck and then I will beat you. I shall provide you with a crimson mask to cover that ugly mug and then I shall pin you. After the medical personnel have been called, I shall tap you out. Simple as that. Thank you for being the next footnote in my career Colton, thank you for being a stepping stone. You play your role so well, it would be remiss of me not to notice that. It will be the last time that anyone is talking about you. The last time anyone even hears your name will be in the twitter post announcing that you will be out of action for an indefinite amount of time due to injuries sustained at the hands of Professional Wrestling’s true beast, the Golden Warrior, The Ripper. You know my name, you know why I have it. You know what I can do. So tuck your tail between your legs, beg my forgiveness, and I may let you keep your kneecaps.”
Danny stops dead, his eyes glazed over. All thoughts of Mace pushed from his mind.
“I think I know Claudia, I think I know why. Through everything I have done, I have never headlined WrestleFest. Time to fucking change that, and it starts with that back-banged bellend.”
“That’s what I like to hear. Now, shall we have a drink?”
That coy ass smile crept across the face of Danny once more.
“You’re damn fucking right we shall, ALYSSA! Get mixing!”