Ataxia has long prided himself on being a master manipulator. That boys and girls is a statement in fact. He has been playing this game for a long, long time, and he plays it better than almost anyone. I watched as he almost single handedly destroyed more than one company. The Ataxia that was buried by Danny B, I thought was the same person who showed up last night. I was mistaken, that particular piece of shit is the one I’ve been looking for.
Jon Stewart, trust me kids, he makes your Ataxia look like a kindergartener on medication. Then Trent Steele shows up looking for his son. I don’t believe in coincidence, I believe that things happen for a reason. Make no mistakes, Stewart and Steele are here together, working together. My coming here to CWF was not coincidence, I came here with a singular purpose in mind. Ataxia is that singular purpose, I came here to destroy him once and for all. I came here to save those that he has corrupted. I knew of his compatriots long before I came here. Mia Rayne, Shadow, Dorian, I did my homework prior to signing the contract. Mia, simply disappeared. Shadow is still fighting the good fight and Dorian….
He chose to take the low road. He put everyone in that ring at risk. He should never have been allowed in a wrestling ring. He shouldn’t be allowed to raise a child. He can wallow in that pit of despair until he rots for all I care, but putting Chloe at risk is unacceptable. The man I once called my brother is long gone, but hey, there’s a bright side for ya D. Once you’ve hit rock bottom there’s only two ways to go. Side to side or straight up.
I have to ask this, Shadow, when I first came here I thought you were a leader of men. Someone who deserves respect, someone who had earned it. What I see now is a one man army, those are not odds I would wish on anyone. You have a supporting cast, sure, but they don’t get in the ring with you. Chloe might try but she should not be anywhere near CWF right now. No more Mia, disappeared to only God knows where. No more Ataxia, without Mia he just couldn’t carry on and sacrificed himself to Danny B. No more Dorian, oh he’s still around, staggering from one bar to another.Your honorary member Zach, he would come to your aid if you asked. If you can tear him away from celebrating that sham of a Impact Title win over Styles.
It’s a shame really, The Forsaken were formidable as a group. That leaves only you Shadow. You better dig deep son, the final act is drawing to a close, and there is no seventh cavalry to call in for a rescue, and John Wayne is busy at the moment. So, buckle up buttercup, it’s going to be a bumpy ride, not as bumpy as it’s going to be for Duce and Styles but bumpy all the same.
The Glass Ceiling; who are they, what are they? Well, they are supposedly the primary antagonist around this joint. Except for the fact that the things we do make them look weak. What Loki and Tobias will do to them in the ring will make them look non existent. When Jon booked this match I thought maybe he had lost his marbles. The tag team champs? Sure they’ll still be that after the match but only because they wouldn’t put them on the line. Loki and Tobias are going to destroy you and I’m going to have a front row seat and a bag of popcorn to watch the fun.
For some reason, there are folks that think I got sucked into the Hostile Takeover. Not even close to true, what I did was take an opportunity when it was presented. As you all know, money is a universal language. It speaks very plainly to me, Tobias and many others in this business. Beating down dumbasses is what I do best, and getting paid for that? I’m all about that.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Law offices of Harold Goldgraft
I pull the collar of my duster up against the chill of the wind driven rain as I stand in front of the offices of Harold Goldgraft. I reach for the handle and swing it open. His receptionist looks up and smiles at the surprise visit.
???: I’ll be damned!
She presses the call button as I shake out of my duster and hang it on a nearby coat rack.
???: Yes Claudia?
Claudia: There is a surprise visitor here to see you Mr. Goldgraft.
A deep sigh is heard over the intercom.
Harold Goldgraft: I don’t like surprises.
I hold up a hand forestalling her response to him.
Jimmy Allen: Look here, you old sumbitch….
With that the office door swings open and out comes Harold. His smile is beaming and he looks glad to see me. Time had been kind to Harold, he was nearly seventy now but he looked like he was in his late forties. Harold had been a very successful defense attorney and he wore it well. He also had excellent taste in scotch. He’s the one that introduced me to my current favorite. I hold up the bottle of laphroaig and his smile broadens.
Harold Goldgraft: Claudia, hold my calls and clear out my schedule.
I laugh as Claudia smiles, Harold motions for me to follow into his office as Claudia gets to work on clearing his schedule. I sit across from him as he pours the amber colored whiskey into tumblers. The tumblers had been chilled but no frost on the glasses. He had such an eye for detail and he knew me all too well to know this wasn’t just a social visit.
Harold Goldgraft: So, this isn’t just a social visit.
Harold deals in facts, he doesn’t often jump to conclusions. I hand him a document and he scans it.
Jimmy Allen: I want to know, based on that document if I have any legal standing to adopt Chloe Hawkhurst.
A long slow whistle escapes him, he goes over the document more earnestly now. He looks up at me but he’s got his poker face on.
Harold Goldgraft: The real reason is why Jimmy? Why would you want to rip a child from their home?
I lean forward resting my elbows on my thighs, I exhale deeply and then begin to try and explain it.
Jimmy Allen: Her father, Dorian, he’s an alcoholic. He can’t stay sober and keeps her from the rest of her family. He’s put her in harm's way so many times. He’s using her as his manager while he wrestles. These are just a few of the reasons that I want to try as you put it, “rip her out of her home”.
I look back up, at the moment I hear him tap on his desk with his index finger against the document. He has a somber look on his face to match my own.
Harold Goldgraft: If you can prove he’s unfit as a parent. New Jersey courts are not kind to those who mistreat children. Has the child been injured while under the supervision of her father?
Jimmy Allen: Yes, while acting as his manager she had to undergo concussion protocol.
Harold sighs deeply, and the tapping ceases. He inhales sharply and then hands the document back to me.
Harold Goldgraft: I don’t practice family law Jimmy, but I have a colleague who will at least look at the case and give you an honest opinion. I think you probably have a case and it sounds like the child is in danger.
He hands me a business card with the name of Jonathan Ernst on it. I slip the card into the pocket of my shirt. I take up the tumbler and we clink the tumblers together.
Jimmy Allen: Friendship.
I can’t hide my smile as he returns the sentiment. My phone begins buzzing and I look at the display, “Milenko” shows on the screen. I slide the bar and answer the call.
Jimmy Allen: Yeh?
James Milenko: Where are you?
Jimmy Allen: I’m in New Jersey right now having a drink with a friend.
James Milenko: Well, you need to get to Edmonton today so we can talk about what I’ve done for you and what exactly it is your going to do for me.
Jimmy Allen: I already know about the match with Flair. I’ll be there when I get there.
Harold’s eyebrows shoot up in askance as I terminate the call with James.
Harold Goldgraft: MJ Flair?
Jimmy Allen: The one and the same.
Harold Goldgraft: That right there is one hell of an assignment Jimmy. If you don’t mind my asking, who was that you were talking to?
Jimmy Allen: A business acquaintance, no one of any importance.
He let’s it drop and I don’t offer further details on the off chance that Harold might know Milenko. I’ve lost enough friends lately and don’t really want to lose Harold, he’s a good man, better than most. Plus I might still need him at some point considering my penchant for getting into trouble.
Heated underground parking is pretty nice, not that it’s really cold enough for that today but still a nice convenience. The fact that Milenko didn’t know about this amused me a great deal, since, you know, he’s supposedly the brains of this outfit. That’s what we let him think at any rate. He is however the man who signs the checks so I try to give him respect when he’s not acting like a complete douchebag.
???: About damn time you showed up!
I look over my shoulder and see a rather annoyed James Milenko striding towards me with purpose. I pause on retrieving my bag from the trunk and stand there with my arms crossed.
Jimmy Allen: Well, it’s good to see you too boss.
I say with a smirk as Milenko slows and then stops a few feet from me.
James Milenko: Look Jed….
I sigh and exhale forcefully, my expression hardens.
Jimmy Allen: My name is Jimmy, surely that can’t be that hard for you to remember.
He stops, shakes his head and sighs.
James Milenko: Right….anyway, your match against Flair.
I uncross my arms and turn, grabbing my bag with one hand and the trunk lid with the other.
Jimmy Allen: What about it?
James Milenko: Do not screw this up like Loki did.
I laugh as I close the trunk of the rental. I turn around and glare at him.
Jimmy Allen: I’ll pretend you didn’t just say that. You don’t really understand her do you? Screwing up is not what she did.
Now he crosses his arms and glares at me.
James Milenko: She didn’t win.
Jimmy Allen: Didn’t she? If you ask MJ Flair, she doesn’t feel like she won that match. She may not say it out loud but Loki scared the hell out of her. No, Loki didn’t walk away with the precious CWF title that you care about so much. She walked away with part of Flair’s soul, that was what was important to Loki. She got in that little girl’s head so bad, and the poor thing doesn’t even realize it yet..
James Milenko: Then finish what Loki started.
Jimmy Allen: I intend to, now I have to get to some bullshit appearance that you signed me up for. Hockey Mom’s and their booger eaters. Fecking lovely.
I walk away from Milenko and leave to him to think about what I’ve said.
The camera’s are rolling, the mic check completed. I stand there waiting for the cue and it’s given. I rub my hands together and smile.
Voice Over: The following has been paid for and presented by Hostility….
Jimmy Allen: Well Kids, here we are once again. I’ve heard through the grapevine that MJ requested this match herself. She believes she can just run thru our little takeover and prove to herself and to the rest of CWF that she’s untouchable. She’s an intense and interesting kid, don’t you think? CWF, look at your champion. Take a long hard look at her! What do you see?
You see a young woman who has brass balls as big as grapefruits. You see a champion standing her ground against all comers. She is someone to be admired and respected, because she lives her ideals, she shows that moral fiber that identifies her as a true champion. A champion tried and tested. A Champion that has literally been through hell and returned from the brink a stronger champion than before. So strong a champion that no one bats an eye when she puts that title on the line against yours truly.
I pause for a moment and let what I’ve said sink in. I know that what I’ve lain out will appeal to the Flair fans watching this. I’ve got them psyched up for their hero.
Jimmy Allen: I see those same things when I look at the champion. She’s every single one of the things I said she is. To you.
I allow a feral smile to slowly spread across my face.
Jimmy Allen: To me? She is none of those things, but there is more to it isn’t there? Indeed there is. You see, no matter how vicious the match. No matter how much blood has been shed. When a champion takes time off, even after a brutal encounter….
I continue to smile at the camera.
Jimmy Allen: It lessens their legacy. It makes people wonder if the champ can take the heat. Can she really stand against people like we’ve assembled in Hostility? Can you count on MJ Flair to be able to go the distance. Has Loki broken her? Will there be others that join our cause?
I allow the smile to fade away into a smirk.
Jimmy Allen: That’s the problem right there. See, Loki and I both went thru brutal matches, but where were we when they booked the following Evolution? We were on the card, kicking ass and taking names alongside Tobias. While the CWF Heavyweight Champion got the night off so she could lick her wounds. More than just physical wounds, huh champ? You were so thoroughly dominated by Loki that it scared the shit out of you. You don’t have to admit it, we all saw it. We all saw what the jester put you through. We all saw the look of shock when your arm was raised in victory. So, now….now you want a match with me. You want to defend your title against me?
The smirk is now gone, replaced with my wow face, wich soon fades into the smirk again.
Jimmy Allen: Now, that is an interesting strategy kiddo. I’m a bit different than Loki. To be honest, you really should have taken an additional week off to attend to those wounds. See princess, this is not my first title fight. I have been a champion everywhere I’ve been. Like you, I grew up in this business. Like you I grew up in the shadow of a man that was held in high regard no matter where we went. A man that respected the business and it returned that sentiment. Escaping the shadow of great men is no easy task. That is where our similarities end. Yes, we are both second generation athletes, I however, am a second generation star! That shadow that your Dad casts over you every day of your life that you can’t seem to outrun?
Jimmy Allen: I quit trying to do that a very long time ago. The shadow I cast is equal to his, if you want reference….ask Dorian. My personal brand eclipsed his, and I have more than enough time left in my career to make sure my legacy is greater than his ever thought about being. I know you don’t like the thought of a personal brand and the things that entails. In time you’ll learn that it’s just good business, because this business can take everything away from you in a second. When that happens, you’ll end up a broken shell of who you once were. You have to be smarter than that Flair, you’ve already proven you lack the wisdom and the business acumen to be a champion much longer. You’re not stepping into the ring with an inexperienced opponent. Get ready to dig deep MJ.
I pause once again to allow the viewer to digest what I’ve told them. To allow my opponent to think about the things I’ve said. I know she will see this, I’ve given all the warnings I’m going to. Now my stare hardens and it’s time to lay it all out for everyone.
Jimmy Allen: I saw you do that against Loki, you’re going to have to dig deeper Flair. Do you even know who you’re climbing in the ring with? You think I’m just some lackey that Loki drug in off the street? You could have named anyone on the roster as your next opponent or allowed the powers that be to select one for you. Instead, you decided to leap out of the frying pan and into the fire. Unlike my peer Loki, I’m not all rage and hatred. I’m as cool as the other side of the pillow. I don’t panic, I don’t freak out when things don’t go quite right. What I do, is adjust, my contingencies are always in motion. How about you champ? Do you have a contingency for when you lose your title and go to the back of the line? See ya soon MJ, shine that belt up for me it’ll look good around my waste.
The sounds of laughter echo as the screen fades to black...