It’s as good a word as any, but no word or phrase can really justify this feeling.
Perhaps heart break?
Regret. I most certainly feel regret.
Within just four short weeks, I’d evolved from a show opener to a main event superstar. Yet in the coming days, week five, I’m warming up the crowd again. Now I’m not an idiot, I understand I was only helping bring Evolution 40 to a wrap on the merit that the World Championship was on the line.
The World Championship was the tool in which got me there. It was also the tool that could’ve kept me there.
Yet I... got beat. Fairly.
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, they always seem to be the big ones. I bottled it, didn’t I? Just like I did in Tokyo. God damnit Max.
Now the American wrestling industry is incredibly different to how it is in Japan. I’ve learned that real fast. See, the CWF is a business that needs your bums on their seats. They won’t get that by selling their shows on how pretty my brainbusters look, they get that by telling stories and playing on your emotions. It generates heat. It’s why they have some of the best talent in the world. It’s also why you spend your hard earned dollar on Pay-Per-Views, t-shirts & tickets without a single doubt or hesitation.
Consider the above. I took The Shadow to within an inch of defeat. What’s important for you to know is that despite every word I said, despite every word he said, that very moment he lifted my arm high into the sky; it was genuine. I respect that man so much.
Yeah, I talked about Fate. Destiny. I talked about controlling a destiny. I still can… I still will.
But where do I go from here? Do I sign with CWF? Do I sign for Hostility?
Chris St. Dawg has announced a roster draft. Your Max Becker is still the hottest free agent in Sports Entertainment. The unemployed, undisputed, undefeated… ah… Fuck you.
How do you draft in an unemployed freelancer? I still hold the cards and there’s no jokers in my deck. Jon Stewart needs to raise his game, that’s for sure.
Thank you for every cheer, Brigaders. When the Becker Brigade is out in their numbers, it’s electrifying. I was on top for so long, but I’m sorry, it wasn’t to be. I went flying over that top rope and landed in a Nightfall DDT. I got up. But a second Nightfall DDT? No chance.
My eyes are on Confliction. The Paramount Championship. Let’s walk it again… the Road to Gold. Third time lucky.
THE BRIGADER, ENTRY #961, WALK IT AGAIN… THE ROAD TO GOLD
Max Becker Online Shop & Warehouse, Händelstraße 57, 50674 Köln, Germany
“Mr Beckermann, how are you feeling?”
White, bright light and plain, vanilla walls. There’s inactive heart monitors, a dozen cables and a make shift bed that Max Becker is sprawled upon; the top half of the bed adjusted to keep the German at a firm and almost sat upright angle. Max’s naked upper body is on show and from the stomach down is under the bed sheets. His neck is wrapped up tight in a foam neck brace for support. He’s fiddling about with a small laptop computer that rests on his lap as the feed zooms to show he’s publishing his latest episode of ‘The Brigader’, his fan newsletter.
Max Becker: “Yeah, yo, I’m alright Jess, I think? I can’t really feel my neck, homie.”
The compact, private room, being a only a few feet by a few feet in diameter is in most of the camera shot. A middled aged nurse, attired in full uniform is besides the open door. She has jet black, medium length hair wrapped tightly in a ponytail.
Nurse Jess: “Okay, well everything we’ve done so far is precautionary and everything looks good. No breaks. Just a light sprain. Two to four weeks of rest time and you’ll be good again. Now CWF have their employee wellness policies which cover our costs, but we are unable to process you I’m afraid.”
Max Becker: “I’m not employed with them…. yo, I ain’t payin’ shit. I didn’t ask to be here, Jessdawg, that Hermon Leggett fella did.”
Nurse Jess: “I’m sorry. Here’s your bill. We can help guide you to the financial resources that are available, if you need us to.”
The Nurse hands over the paperwork and as soon as she does, Max hastily finds the NET total; his jaw dropping in the sheer shock to be expected for a new US migrant.
Max Becker: “Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me, Jessdawg? Five large for a bit of foam?”
“Don’t worry, we’ll take care of that Max. Thank you, Jessica.”
Nurse Jess is replaced by CWF Medical Director, Dr. Harmon Leggett as the one by the door, as Jessica leaves them be. Harmon is attired in brown chinos and a simple, smart shirt. He looks the part with his polished shoes and expensive wrist watch.
Harmon Leggett: “Come on Maxi, it’s about ten hours to Sacramento. I’ve given Jon Stewart my complete reassurance that whilst you’re out of action for a few weeks, you’ll be at the shows for any on screen work necessary.”
Max Becker: “Out of action? Who’s out of action, yo? Not me bro.”
Harmon Leggett: “Haha, you’re no different to all the others, Maxi. I’m not comfortable your neck will recover without a couple of weeks rest. I’m afraid it’s CWF policy, what I say in regards to health and well-being is for your own good.”
With a huff and a puff, the German kicks his leg over and gets up from the bed. He’s wearing bright pink and uncomfortably tight underwear, because that’s just what Max Becker does.
Max Becker: “Well, that’s all well and good Ledawg, but you can only throw that policy shit in my face when, and if, I sign that deal, yo. Pay this stupid ass bill and let’s go, homie.”
Max throws on his lime vest and ripped denim shorts as he, and not so gently, stuffs his laptop and other belongings into his sporty duffel bag. Max’s progress is occasionally being halted as he reaches for his neck, readjusting his brace to remain as comfortable as possible as it becomes increasingly clear that he’s struggling.
Harmon Leggett: “I’m sure contractual technicalities will not matter, but we can sort this out when we get there. Are you ready?”
Ready, set, go. Max & Harmon leave the room and are into a narrow corridor, which is likewise coated in boring vanilla paint with various health posters and hand sanitiser providers on the walls. The medical director and Max are forced against the wall to make room for two young nurses who are aiding a hobbling, young gentleman. “Wait!” shouts the patient, “Aren’t you Max Becker?” he asks. The man has very short red hair, glasses and is dressed in a Dorian Hawkhurst t-shirt and brown chino pants. One foot is in a training shoe as the other that is kept elevated is wrapped in bandage.
Max Becker: “That’s right homie, yeah, I am.”
“I’m a big fan. My name’s Sam.”
Harmon places his hand on Max’s lower back, urging him to hurry on by. “Come on Maxi, we’re already behind schedule.” murmurs Dr. Leggett.
Max Becker: “Give me a minute Ledawg. Go sort that five large bill out, yo.”
Harmon loudly sighs, evidently not too keen on the concept of sorting the bill out. “Thought you weren’t employed by the CWF?” he sarcastically whispers before making his way out of shot.
Sam: “What’s up with your neck, dude? From the match with The Shadow?”
Max Becker: “Yeah bro. Real stiff, Samdawg, what about you homie? What’s with the foot?”
Sam: “Football bro.”
Max Becker: “Yeah? Real football or that shit you play with yo’ hands over here?”
Sam: “Soccer? No, football. Hey, can I have a picture?”
Max looks at the two nurses, both evidently either new or in assistant, lower grade roles. One is long blonde haired, freckles, the other has medium length brown hair; both ladies of are slim build.
Max Becker: “Not up to me dawg, ask these two pretty little ladies here.”
Sam: “Is it OK?”
Blonde Nurse: “Yes, of course.”
Just like that, a limping, one legged man is helped beside Max who struggles to wrap his arm around the much scrawnier man. The two strike a big grin as the blonde haired Nurse takes a few pictures using Sam’s mobile phone he’d given to her.
Sam: “Me and my friends didn’t get to the show, but we love your raps and how you talk on people. Is there any chance I can record you doing one on a video with me to show them?”
Max Becker: “Yeah, of course, homie. Use my phone, we’ll stream it to the Brigade.”
Max fiddles with his mobile phone, organising a video stream before handing it to young Sam, his new biggest fan, who’s hands are visibly shaking.
Max Becker: “Close your ears, ladies. Guten Tag, Brigaders!
Yo, yo, yo.
I walked into Tacoma thinkin’ I owned the place, thought I’d be in a one horse title race but here I am, yo, cryin’ in a neck brace. It’s all on you Shadow, you did this, but then again homie, you said you would be the victor and I’m still here, none the richer. Cruel world, yo.”
Max grabs Sam and carefully and slowly brings him into the camera’s focus after Sam flips the stream recording to the front facing camera of the phone. It’s evident the young fan is on cloud nine, with his Cheshire catlike grin and his clear uncertainty of where to stand or where to look.
Max Becker: “Meet Sam. Sam the fan. Dorian, yo’ Forsaken ass owes me a beer for the advertisement, homie.
From World Championship hope. From Quarter Finalist dreams. Your Max Becker now opens the show against Big Rig. Dawgs, it’s like havin’ yo’ evenin’ meal with Leonardo Dicaprio and yo’ dessert with Kanye West. Talk about a downgrade, yo.
Big Rig, you ugly son bitch, your beard big enough? It’s down to your hips. Could hide anything you want in there, maybe save some Potato Chips? You’re a man that thinks you look ready for a hunt. Yet the whole knows, you just look like a cunt.
Trailer park trash, the Fifth Wheel Boys, the crew, the clique. None of you know what a vagina looks like, you’re so used to each other’s dick. You hunt your elk and you hunt your boar, killing defenceless animals, is the son of a whore.
Leave the boys by the fire, time for a prostitute. Take your pick, how about the one with a ‘tash, the brute? We all know Fifth Wheel Boys, they don’t get no pussy, yo, bend over boys, you ain’t so fussy.
Yo’ sell yourself to the world as a man, as tough as a knight, but just last week I saw yo’ big dumb ass drink a Coors Light. Keep tellin’ everyone you so tough, you’re full of grit, but no chance homie, only ten minutes ago I had a tougher shit.
So walk yo’ ass down to the ring at Evolution and you’ll find your absolution. Yo’ dumb ass will meet Max Becker and you’ll go O and three, but that was always goin’ to happen, that’s just how it has to be.”
The German takes the phone from Sam to cut the live recording.
Max Becker: “Yo kid, how’s that?”
Sam: “No way! That was awesome! Thank you.”
Max extends his hand, a gesture of thanks, of course Sam obliges. As the nurses look to help Sam hobble on by, Harmon Leggett is back.
Harmon Leggett: “Your medical bill is paid in full. Let’s go.”
Max Becker: “Good job homie, ‘cause I wasn’t payin’ a damn thing, yo.”
The two, side by side, slowly make their way down the narrow corridor as they start their journey to Sacramento, California.
Harmon Leggett: “What was so special about that kid, Maxi?”
Max Becker: “Nothin’, but yo’ ass is never going to walk this road again alone.”