Title: The Business of the Business
Featuring: Jack Michaels
Date: 01-16-2019
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Show: Evolution 39 (Modern Warfare Round 1)



“Longevity in this business is about being able to reinvent yourself or invent the future.” --- Satya Nadella


 

 

January 14th, 2005

8:41 PM

Jack Michaels Residence

Las Vegas, Nevada


 

Through the bright lights of the Vegas strip and towards the Vegas Foothills, we find ourselves privy to a private home on the side of the mountain. The night had cast a somber cascade of darkness over the home but an argument inside caused a loud wave of fire to be felt by anyone within earshot. Going through the master bedroom window gives us sight to what many would consider a legend within the pro wrestling industry. “The Blast” Jack Michaels calmly packs several bags as a voice to his left shouts at him loudly. The owner of that voice is none-other-than his wife Valerie who’s red face is now clashing with her blonde hair. She continues to scream at Jack, the vodka tonic in her right hand swaying with the words.

 

“Oh that’s just fucking great of you Jack. Just pack your bags and leave like some sort of… Of… Monster!”

 

Jack continues to keep packing before closing his eyes sharply.

 

“I’ve told you a million times Val, I have to go back on the road. This family needs money to survive and I damn sure can’t support your spending habits staying home with you and Amber.”

 

Valerie takes a swig of her drink and slams the glass down on the counter.

 

“Oh FUCK you! You know this is just you wanting to stay on top for whatever stupid fucking reason you have. Newsflash Jack, you are 37 years old and not a single person is giving you a title shot. Just sell some more shit and buy me what I FUCKING WANT!”

 

Jack slams the case shut and turns to look at his wife.

 

“Will you keep your god damn voice down? Amber is sleeping.”

 

“Oh like you give a shit about her or me. That is a 5 year old girl that needs her Dad and I need my stuff too.”

 

Jack grits his teeth.

 

“You ‘NEED’ your stuff? Does that include the 2nd Porsche you just happened to buy or was it the twenty or so bottles of liquor you shove down your throat every week? Who the hell do you think provides for you? Provides for that little girl that I would kill myself to keep safe and happy? Sure as hell isn’t you now is it? Thank god we got a nanny because I don’t trust you with my daughter anymore.”

 

Valerie rushes forward and slaps Jack across the face. Valerie smiles evilly as she holds out her chin.

 

“Oh yeah big man. I did it so now why don’t you pop me in the mouth. Let me get the fuck out of this marriage and take my daughter so far away from you that you will need a rocket ship to come see her. HIT ME JACK!”

 

Jack shakes his head and holds up a finger to Valerie.

 

“Get some help Val… For the love of God, sober up and get some help.”

 

Jack grabs his bags and heads for the door as Valerie continues to yell after him.

 

“Yeah, go get your ass kicked out there Jacky Boy! Old man Jack Michaels trying to be 20 again because he needs to support his family! You selfish asshole! Fuck you! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!!!!!”

 

Jack slams the door behind him as their maid comes rushing forward. Jack shakes his head and points at the room.

 

“Keep her away from Amber… I don’t think she can be…”

 

“Daddy?”

 

A beautiful little blonde girl comes out of her room while rubbing her eyes. Jack’s 5 year old daughter Amber has tears coming down her cheeks as Jack drops to his knee.

 

“What is it baby girl? Why are you crying?”

 

She sniffles a bit.

 

“I heard Mommy yelling and she said you are going away. Why do you have to leave me, Daddy?”

 

Jack swallowed deeply as his heart rose in his throat. He scooped up his little girl in his arms and carried her back towards her bed.

 

“Well sweetheart… Sometimes Daddys have to work so that their most precious things can have what they need. For you that means keeping a roof over your head, food in your belly and toys for you to play with. It also means that sometimes Daddys have to go away because its the only way they can keep their precious things safe from losing all that.”

 

He tucked Amber back in as she looked up at him.

 

“Well then why does Mommy yell at you so much?”

 

Jack turns to look over his shoulder as now Valerie is stomping with the maid to get another cocktail. Jack has to fight back his own tears as he tries to find the right answer.

 

“Because Mommy… Mommy is… Um… Complicated.”

 

“Co...Comp… Compl…?”

 

“Oh well lets just say that she is… Um... Sick darling. She is sick and sometimes she forgets that this is what Daddy has to do. Just remember though that Mommy loves you very much.”

 

“And do you love me too Daddy? Mommy says that you…”

 

Jack puts a finger on her small lips and leans down to her.

 

“I love you so much baby girl. Don’t you ever think otherwise. You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and I will give anything for you. Now, tomorrow and forever.”

 

Jack kisses his daughter on the forehead as the yelling outside the door is now being drowned out by the slamming of bottles. Jack sighs.

 

“No more tears now baby girl… I will be back home as soon as I can.”

 

Amber shifts under her covers and nods.

 

“Okay… I love you Daddy.”

 

A single tear comes down Jack’s face as he turns to leave the room.

 

“I love you too… And I love you more than you will ever know...”

 

-----


 

Pro wrestling is a tough business.

 

Many athletes out there will talk about the sacrifice in the gym, the hours on the road, the days, weeks and months of putting your body on the line… But not as many talk about what you have to leave behind in order to be at the top. Families are divided, friends are lost and for the lucky few who get to the top of the heap… The glory of being number one is matched only by the heartache of being number one.

 

Some last a day, others a few weeks and, for a lucky few, they are number one for months at a time.

 

 

I’ve been on top of the game for over 20 years and it’s still going.

 

When I was younger, I had an urge to be the best because it was who I am. I can bore you with my backstory but from UCW to RAW to CCW to WFS to HPW, EWE, HSW, PWF, EWE... The list just continued to grow of companies where I became their top champion. Even now, at 51 years old, I find myself as the World Champion of Carnage Wrestling and sitting on an invite to the Championship Wrestling Federation with an opportunity to prove that I still got it by fighting in the Modern Warfare tournament to crown the new CWF World Champion.

 

But I get it because I know there are probably many out there who don’t know who I am and probably don’t even care. They see some salty old man from a generation gone away doing nothing more than wasting time in their eyes. Well, I can’t say I agree with them but let me take some wind out of your sails awful quick.

 

Yes, I am an old man.

Yes, I am from a bygone generation.

Yes, I know you don’t need to give care about me… But you should.

 

You should because for many who don’t know me, there are a handful here who do know the kind of man that I am. That do know what I am still capable out in that ring. That do know that I am the kind of guy who is willing to do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, to come out with what I set my mind to. It’s the reason I lead the Paragon stable, it’s the reason I am the Carnage champion and it’s the reason I plan on being the next CWF World Champion.

 

...

 

But to be fair? It’s not the only reason I fight. No… I fight for something so much deeper than just myself. Ask Amber Ryan. Ask JC. Ask Eli Goode.

 

I fight for honor.

 

I fight for respect.

 

And… Most importantly…

 

 

….

 

…..

 

I fight for HOPE.

 

-----


 

January 14th, 2019

8:41 PM

Jack Michaels Residence

Las Vegas, Nevada



 

Through the bright lights of the Vegas strip and towards the Vegas Foothills, we find ourselves privy to a private home on the side of the hill. Unlike years’ past, the night had not cast a somber cascade of darkness over the home but rather a bright halo of light seemed to illuminate from within the building. Rather than start on the top floor, we look through the veranda on the bottom floor where a new woman in her early 30s is seen playing with a new little girl on the enclosure. They both seem legitimately happy as we pull slowly up the home where once again we see the man Jack Michaels packing some bags on his bed.

 

Time has been good to Jack as while there are a few more wrinkles around his eyes and a bit more salt than pepper along his temples, there is still a pillar of strength in the broad man’s shoulders. He packs his bags slowly as a knock at the door behind him catches his attention. He turns his head to see the now 19 year old version of his daughter. Amber has grown into a beautiful young woman as she walks up to her Dad and gives him a kiss on the cheek.

 

“How you feeling Dad?  Ready to kick some ass in the CWF?”

 

Jack smiles lightly.

 

“I am good baby girl… And I hope so. I look forward to spending some time with Eli since he is going to be flying with me there and even Amber Ryan is scheduled to show up.”

 

Amber Michaels narrowed her gaze on her Dad.

 

“Amber eh? I figured she wouldn’t be showing her face around you after she disappeared on us.”

 

Jack smiles softly at his daughter and puts an arm around her.

 

“Don’t hold it against her. Amber is… Complicated.”

 

“Yeah… You used to say the same thing about my Mom.”

 

Jack lets go of his daughter as his head bows a bit.

 

“Guess I’ve never been the best judge of women. At least I got you.”

 

Amber smiles as she helps start to fold Jack’s clothes alongside him.

 

“Well, you got me and you got Kyra downstairs. She really loves you as does her daughter. Adina even called you Daddy on accident the other day.”

 

Jack chuckles a bit as he finishes putting his things together.

 

“Yeah well, kids make mistakes as do adults sometimes.”

 

Amber zips up his bag as Jack kind of stares out the window of his room.

 

“Something wrong Dad?”

 

Jack stays quiet for a second as he thinks it over.

 

“I just wonder if me running around all the time is the best of ideas now. I mean I still want to challenge myself and lord knows I still got what it takes to be at the top but… I don’t want you have to choose between my family and the business anymore. You guys mean a lot to me and… Well Amber… I love you more than…..”

 

Amber stares at her Dad as a small smile crosses her lips.

 

“I will ever know. I know Dad… And I love you too.”

 

Amber leans over and holds her Dad as the two look out the window.

 

“I know you never wanted to leave when I was younger but things have changed. You are not fighting because you need to support me or Kyra or Adina… You are fighting because it’s the right thing to do. You are one of the few people left that have that passion, that have that ideology to want to make the world of wrestling better and honestly… I have never been more proud to call you my father. You have proved that being in your 50s is not the end of the line but rather the continuation of something so beautiful that others become inspired by just knowing who you are. You need to continue to do what you were born to do and know that we are going to be here when you come home. Champion of CWF or not, Champion of Carnage Wrestling or not… You will always be the champion to us.”

 

Jack smiles softly as he kisses the top of his daughter’s head and holds her closer.

 

“When did you get so damn amazing, baby girl?”

 

Amber snuggles up to her father and smiles broadly.

 

“Well... I had a pretty damn good Dad.”

 

-----


 

Hope and purpose; a driving force that keeps me going after all these years.

 

It’s the perception of the world around you that makes you realize if what you are doing is right… If what you are doing is pure. The truth is... When you have the support of those who love you, you feel almost unstoppable. That’s the biggest reason I am still going and why I continue to have hope for our future. However… I am a realist too. I step into the ring here in CWF knowing that there are a lot of people that don’t support me. One of those people is sure to be my first round opponent Autumn Raven.

 

Now Miss Raven, I am sure you think you have seen it all before. The bright lights. The eager looks. Your assurance that the misconception around someone like me is going to be my undoing. I am sure to you that I am nothing more than the relic I spoke of before; the old hero hoping to prove he still has just a little bit left in the tank.

 

Heh…

 

The thing is, though, I am not the old hero because I never went away. I kept going strong year after year, decade after decade while the new blood such as yourself came onto the scene. I never took a back step to you but rather I found new ways to put you into the dirt on after another like stepping stones on a greater path. It never bothered me to see who the new “hardcore” bitch on the scene was. It never made me second guess myself when I saw someone else who felt they were that much better than the world around them. You see Miss Raven, your brand of insanity is the same as the thousand that came before you and the thousand that will come after you. You are no different and I, my darling, have no fear.

 

Now don’t get me wrong… I will not take away what you have done before you set foot in the ring with me. I know that you are the Aversion champion and that many people MAY fear you. Many people MAY second guess themselves against you. MAY think you are something they never seen before. Sadly for you, I am not one of those people. I have done my homework and seen your matches in the past… Your feud with Silas has been interesting to say the least but frankly, as I have said, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. To me, you are just another wrestler who wants to be taken as something they are not. You are not greatness in our sport, a pioneer of insanity nor are you the evil incarnate… No, you are something much more common.

 

You see kid, girls like you with too much make up and not enough common sense are the ones who have the skeletons in the closet. Forget about Silas and your troubles with him… Let’s talk about the ones where Mommy and Daddy didn’t give you enough love or Uncle Skeeter tried to touch you in the bedroom when no one else was looking. I get that you are angry at the world because you feel entitled like YOU deserve something better... And while I sympathize for those who have those problems in their past, I can’t say it gives me any recourse of what I am going to have to do.

 

It’s funny to me, I can almost see you now, cursing up a storm and telling the world how “I don’t know you” or that “you will fucking kill me” or whatever it is that helps you sleep at night. And that’s fine kid, it really is. You can bash chairs or cut yourself like some Emo twat or do whatever it is that makes you sleep better but the fact remains.

 

I will beat you Miss Raven.

 

Let me repeat that...

 

I will beat you Miss Raven.

 

...

 

I WILL BEAT YOU.

 

...

 

I will beat you and I will advance on in the tournament. Not because you are damaged goods. Not because there is someone holding you back but because the simple fact is I fight for something more. I am better than you Miss Raven. I am the pilot and you are the passenger. I am the leader and you are the follower. I am a winner and you… You... Are a loser.

 

Quote the Raven forever more?

 

No…

 

Quote Jack Michaels, Your next CWF Undisputed Champion.


 



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