January 16, 2019
Eli Goode’s Apartment
After so many years of weakness, he has finally gotten to the point of feeling strong. All of the trials and tribulations have finally paid off. There is nothing on Earth that can stop him from feeling the high that he is feeling now. Except the feeling of loss. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes you feel useless. That moment you feel completely empty inside of yourself. Nothing had made Eli Goode feel that way in a long time. After failing Jack Michaels, he finally felt that again. That sense of worthlessness. That feeling of emptiness. That depression that has been held back for so long is finally creeping back into his mind.
That tag team match has been in Eli’s head for days now. A match where he would have been able to prove that he could hold his own against the big boys, and he failed. A match that would be able to show people that he was better than what they thought. It did not work in his favor. He only thought of one thing afterwards. He thought about his start. He thought about his early days. He thought about his time hiding under a mask.
October 7, 2007
Butterflies flutter in Eli Goode’s stomach. Wait, that is not his name. No, his name is Eli “The Kid” Hogan at this time. A name that means nothing to a majority of people, but it means something to him. Hulk Hogan is a powerful figure to Eli Goode, and he wants to emulate that power. He sits in the locker room of the Extreme Wrestling Entertainment event “Halloween Havoc.” It is his first big event with the company, and he is filling the pressure of building up inside of him. He looks down at a mask he has in front of him. It is a Rey Mysterio-esque mask that is colored navy to match his ring gear.
Eli takes his mask and slips it on his head. He clicks the chin-strap onto the mask and takes in a deep breath. There is a potential for Eli to win a number one contendership. He has never had this kind of exposure before. This is big for him. This is something that will make his career. No one will look at him as a dud ever again.
He rubs his hands together to feel the sweat on each hand. His stomach gurgles and roars. He looks at his stomach feeling even more nervous. Had he forgotten to eat? No, this is something else. He walks into the bathroom and finds an empty stall. He unstraps his mask and lifts it up. After a few seconds of waiting, he vomits inside of the toilet as the butterflies finally pop out of his mouth. He takes a few deep breaths trying to calm his stomach down, but he continues to vomit unable to keep his composure.
A stagehand walks into the locker room and notices Eli in the bathroom. He runs over to Eli and lifts him up from the toilet. The stagehand takes a few sheets of paper towels and cleans up the vomit off of Eli’s mouth.
“Hey, you need to call down buddy. You’re on in a few minutes, and you need to get in guerilla position.”
Eli finishes cleaning the rest of the vomit from his mouth. He tosses the paper towel into a trashcan as the stagehand begins to walk away from Eli. Eli looks into a mirror and takes in a deep breath. He takes some water from the sink and drinks some of it. He turns off the sink and walks back over to flush the toilet. He walks over to the stagehand and begins to exit the locker room. Quickly, before Eli leaves the room, the stagehand pushes the mask on Eli’s head making Eli jump for a second. He adjusts the mask and straps the chin-strap back on. He takes a few steps forward and stands behind one of his competitors Joey Stilleti. Joey pays Eli no mind as Eli tries to regain his composure. He takes in one final deep breath as Joey exits guerilla as Halloween Havoc 2007 starts for the audience.
January 16, 2019
Eli Goode’s Apartment
Eli Goode sits in a recliner in his living room holding onto his mask from Halloween Havoc. He moves it around in his hand remembering that match. He remembers everything about that match. How it was an Ultimate X match. How close he was to winning in the early goings of the match. How all he was doing was mimicking Hulk Hogan. He tried so hard to be as strong as him. He wanted so hard to be his son too. If only he knew the type of man Hulk Hogan would become.
He especially remembers the finish to the match. Yes, he remembers getting knocked out by a simple move. He was out of it for the rest of the match. This was unfortunate for him. Because of this, another opponent won the match. This was Eli’s first big failure. This was the first time he felt that twinge of depression.
He drops the mask and looks out the window remembering what happened at the hotel right after the event ended.
October 7, 2007
The mask rests on the floor next to the duffle bag. The bag rests next to the bed as Eli sits in the bathroom curled up on the floor. Small tears roll down Eli’s eyes as he thinks about the failure he just experienced. He is only eighteen years old. He cannot expect to be able to understand that things will get better, but he cannot think about the future right now. No, he can only think about what is happening now.
He keeps his arms around his legs and can only keep his head covered by his knees. He phone vibrates next to him. He looks over at it and sees a message from Jeff Payne aka White Tiger. Eli scoffs and ignores the message not wanting to have his lose rubbed into his face, especially not from the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Eli takes in a deep breath, and he slowly stands up from the ground. He walks into the bedroom and picks up his mask. He looks at it intensely and throws it across the room with a loud grunt.
“What good did you do me? Huh, you didn’t help at all. You’re supposed to make me feel better, but you didn’t. No, you let me down… You let me down.”
He pushes the bag over to make room for himself on the bed. He lays on the bed looking up at the ceiling thinking about the decisions he has made to get to this point. The prior independent federation that was too violent for him. The training that he got when he was too young. His lack of experience to now. Nothing is right for him.
He sighs and gets out of the bed and walks over to the bathroom. He has made the decision that he should have made a long time ago. He is going to quit wrestling once and for all. There is no point in wrestling anymore. It is ridiculous how he thought he could make it. He hides behind a mask to keep people from getting to know him. It will not be EWE’s lose if he asks for his release. They will not even miss him.
He reaches the bathroom and picks up his phone. He sees the message from Jeff Payne is still there. He closes his eyes and takes in a deep breath. He flips open his phone and reads the message. It is an encouraging message. One that tells him to keep on going. One that says that defeat is common for everyone, but to not give up. It is ok to lose once in a while. The loses keep him humble, and lets him know he is human. It shows normalcy in his life. The message tells Eli to remember that Jeff will always be on his side, and he will always be rooting for Eli.
Eli lowers the phone and has a small smile appear on his face. He closes his phone and sighs. He walks back into the bedroom and places the phone on the side table next to the bed. He sits on the bed and looks back at the mask. He takes in a deep breath and chuckles to himself.
“Don’t worry. We’ll get through this. I just know it.”
He lays down on the bed and slowly drifts off to sleep.
January 16, 2019
Eli Goode’s Apartment
He looks down at his phone and sees a message from Jack Michaels that is similar to the one sent by Jeff Payne twelve years ago. He smirks to himself and places his phone on the coffee table in his living room. He stands up and walks over to his second bedroom. The walls are covered with soundproof foam and with a light and camera against one of the walls. He walks over and turns on the light and camera. He takes a deep breath and hits the record button. He smiles at the camera and looks directly into the lens.
“Strength is more than just physical. It’s mental as well. For a few days, I’ve not had the greatest mental strength, but I’ve been able to get through that with the help of my friends and loved ones. They’ve been able to pick me up from the brink of depression and keep me from falling into that dark place again. The place where all of my dreams disappear. The place where all hope is lost.
However, hope was able to persevere this time. Hope was stronger than the darkness, and now I’m able to prove the type of fighter I am in a tournament where I get to prove who I am. Yes, at Evolution 39 I will be fighting in the first round of the Modern Warfare tournament. The winner of the tournament will be the NEW CWF World Heavyweight Champion. Now, there are a lot of people in this tournament, and a few of them I know: my mentor Jack Michaels, fellow Carnage roster member ‘The Answer’ JC, and former stablemate Amber Ryan.
Yeah, this tournament is going to be interesting to me. Because you see, out of those three, I’m the lowest ranked. It could be because the upper management of CWF hasn’t seen my work, or they have seen my work, but they don’t think I’m as good as them. Well, this tournament is going to prove differently. See, for all of my life I have been seen as an underdog, and if I have to continue that trend, I gladly will. People have always doubted my potential, and I’m going to change that in this tournament. I’m going to show my potential against my first opponent: FORMER CWF Impact Champion Freddie Styles.
Yes, I make it my business to learn about my opponent. I know that you’re also a FORMER CWF Tag Team Champion. I know that win/lose record isn’t the greatest either. More losses than wins isn’t the greatest look Styles. Again, I’ve done my research, and I know that you can put up a fight. I know that doubting you can bring it is a mistake. However, I don’t want you to look at me and think that I can’t bring it either.
Styles, I’ve been trained by two of the greatest world champions on this Earth. Jeff Payne taught me how to ground an opponent and make sure they stand down. Jack Michaels, the current Carnage Wrestling World Champion, taught me how to never back down from a fight. He taught me to never stay down for anyone. No matter how hard you beat me I will always get back up.
So what does that mean for you? Simple, it means you’ve gotta fight harder than me. It means you’ve gotta make me believe that you want to move on in the tournament because, believe me, I want it more than you. I want to carry the CWF World Heavyweight Championship and be the person people remember. I want people to look at me and say, ‘This guy deserves to hold that championship.’ I want you to look up at me after I beat you and think, ‘He’s better than me.’
Styles, no matter how hard you fight, I’ll fight harder. This tournament is going to be short for you. You won’t experience the second round because I’m going to beat you and move on in the tournament. I’m going to continue fighting until I get to the finals and win the championship.
Styles, this is how you’re going to lose. It’s not because you didn’t try hard enough, it’s not because you missed by that much. Not it’s because I’m simply… THAT DAMN GOODE!”
The scene slowly fades to black.