Duce Jones! Two times CWF World Heavyweight Champion!
Got a nice ring to it, huh?
At least it does to me.
Hard work kinda paying off.. Can't really say hard work because Dan Ryan sort of ‘handed’ me the belt. Oh well, I'm champion now and now it's time to backup all that talk that I was laying down.
Why get in the business if this wasn't the end game?
The beginning of my reign was not truly ideal though. I would've loved to walk down that aisle, World title over my shoulder and take it to anyone in the locker room. However, that wasn't in the plans as I spent a good week laid up in a hospital bed.
One of these days, I'm going to have to get the officials to understand that I don't do hospitals. I'm an all natural kinda fella. A few days of meditation and I'm good.. something the doctors had come to realize during my visit. Especially considering the fact I checked myself out.
A couple of days had passed since my visit but I was finally back at home. Rest never hurt nobody.. at least that was the bright side.. on the other hand, it seemed to be the ideal spot to host a baby shower..
Oh.. in case anyone forgot, my girlfriend is seven months pregnant and even though we went to figure out the gender of our child. We wanted to hold off until now to do the ‘BIG REVEAL’... I honestly didn't care though, rotel and homemade hot wings were enough to keep my attention..
Not that knowing the gender of my child wasn't special.. But it's only a kid, amirite?
The escape from professional wrestling was much needed however. I had spent so much of my focus on becoming World Champion again that I nearly forgot that I had a child on the way. Nature of the business I guess. Nonetheless, my humble abode was filled nearly to capacity with family and friends, all eager to learn the sex of our child.
“I'm still trying to figure out what the big deal is..”
Pops stated to all the men who were sitting inside of my man cave. A smoke session was currently in progress because let's honestly face it, only women are excited for shit like this. Pops currently had the blunt but passed it to me as I responded.
“Ya kno’ they love t'do dis kinda shit so we can have a head's up on shit t'buy..”
“Back in my day we just took the shit and exchange whatever we didn't need..”
“Simpla’ times right?”
We all shared in a collective laugh as I passed the blunt to my father's longtime friend and my adopted uncle, Ro Shields. He's made a few appearances before but nothing really major. He was also the father of my first love, Yolanda, who was now my own personal lawyer.
“Back then it was have the baby and hope for the best. You kids these days have to be a step ahead of everything..” Ro said before taking a drag of the sweet medicine.
“What's wrong with that?” Ro's older son, Dante questioned.
“Nothing.. just feel like the world's become more predictable. It's like everyone has an itinerary these days. Me and Ro, we just lived our lives and just kicked ass all over the world.”
The former multi time tag champs share a fist bump.
“True that, when you boys came along.. there wasn't no plan, we damn sure tried to stay relevant in y'all life.. we just had to make shit work.”
“I hear ya.. I just want my kids t'kno’ dat no matta’ what.. they straight.”
“I'm sure you're gonna be fine Duce. You always was the protective type when we were kids, especially when it came to Londa.” Dante stated with a sly smile as he received the blunt from his father.
“C'mon now.. Y'all kno’ Sierra got those gifted ears. Ya so much as thank I got feelin’s f'anotha’ chick an’ her Spidey senses is tinglin’..”
“ALLEN!” Sierra screams from the kitchen. “EVERYBODY'S GOING OUTSIDE FOR THE REVEAL!”
Laughter is shared once again between us. The blunt being put out as we all made our way towards the backyard. I walked with a noticeable limp but it was nothing major. We all finally made it outside.
“Sierra! Duce! Come.. come it's the moment that everyone's been waiting for!” Yolanda exclaimed gleefully, the coordinator of today's festivities.
We both made our way near the pool as she handed us a black balloon. This shit was ridiculous, I was beginning to feel like Pops and Uncle Ro. Worry bout shit when the baby finally got here. But the expression on Sierra's face was too precious.
Excitement would be an understatement when trying to explain the joy flowing through her body as Yolanda handed her a safety pin while I held the balloon.
We both nod in the affirmative.
“Alright.. everyone countdown from ten.”
Blue and pink confetti goes sailing through the air. I dumbfoundedly glance at Sierra as cheers ring out through our peers. She gives me a sheepish grin before looking down at her foot as she twists it from side to side.
I pass out.
Overwhelmed.. I think that's the best way to describe the emotions that circulated through my body. No matter how much I wanted to stay focused on what I had going it was beginning to become more tasking as the days passed.
I was World Champ, Pop's first show was less than stellar, Freddie was in a coma, Byson had to go back to Japan to handle ‘business’ and now my girlfriend was pregnant with twins..
I think that last part took the cake. It was at that moment that a lot of things had become a bit more clear and maybe.. just maybe another level had to be achieve to move on to the next stage.
Heh.. look at me, I sound like Zach..
But who wants to raise one kid, let alone two? I'd have to work twice as hard to make sure they were well taken care of… not that I'm complaining but fuck.. Who am I kidding though, the twin gene runs in my family. I guess I was more or less hoping that it would skip over me.
Then Byson… we were just starting to become the best of friends but when there are snags starting to rear their ugly heads in your operation, it's gotta get handled. It was for the best anyway, he seriously needed to get some proper training if he was going to watch my back.
Freddie… fuck man… it seems I wasn't the only one to leave Vertigo on a stretcher. Graves’ gonna get his..
And finally, once again I was World Champion. Nuff said..
Six hours had passed since one of the biggest bombshells of my life was dropped on me. Twins.. boy and girl.. at least the legacy was going to be continued. The party had been over with a long time ago.. I still needed to clear my head, so I took a drive to the riverfront, the calmness of the Mississippi River, always seemed to calm my spirit.
The moon was full and the river was high thanks to all the rain the city of Memphis was getting. The air was cool as I leaned on a railing that peered over the waters.. Despite all the thoughts that were racing through my mind.. I still needed to focus.
This Tuesday night I would make my return to a CWF ring as I was scheduled to face Lindsey Troy and The Shadow. It was time for business to pick back up as usual.
“Ain't they beautiful?”
I look up at the stars.
“In tha grand scheme'a thangs.. dat's what everyone reaches fo’.. We all wanna believe dat we can make it t'tha Moon an' back. But sometimes.. dat just ain't that case.”
I adjust the CWF World Title that rests on my shoulder.
“Dis is what it's all about.. dis right here says wit'out a shadow of a doubt, dat I sit on top'a tha throne where I rightfully belong.. It's been a long time comin’ an’ no matta’ how much D-Ry wants ta discredit my victory. Tha fact still remains dat I left wit tha belt. D-Ry, you can play tha long game.. but you'll be in a retirement home befo’ ya eva’ get ya paws back on dis here..”
I pat the belt.
“But when tha time comes.. you'll get my undivided attention.. Y'see, dis belt comes wit great responsibilities.. Ya gotta be on top’a ya game or some hungry fighter is gonna sneak in an’ try ta take it from ya.. We got several of those types on tha rosta’.. Graves.. van Owen… Flair… just t'name a few.. unlike Ryan though, I recognize tha threats all around me an’ I don't take none'a dem lightly..
Which leads me ta my opponents dis Tuesday night.. One I'm so familiar wit’ I could probably tell ya what he had fa breakfast three months ago.. While tha otha’ is a woman, who's reputation really speaks for itself.. Shad.. Troy.. tha three'a us get ta share tha stage as we put on tha closin’ act. Now Shad.. you an’ me have shared dat rang on many occasions. We've pushed each otha’ ta heights tha both of us neva’ would've thought possible when we both debuted dat faithful November night..
Look at us now. You yourself a Grand Slam Champion.. a feat dat I came through tha doe’ tryna achieve. Myself.. I've done fairly well.. Hell it's clear ta even say dat down tha line.. we're both gonna be certified Hall of Famers when it's all said an’ done.. So when I say I have tha utmost respect fo’ ya.. I mean dat shit.. But like tha true professionals we are, I hope dat you kno’ dat I'm leavin’ everythang in dat rang.. No games.. no tricks… just honest competition..”
I begin to stare at the full moon, the beauty of it's glow, mesmerizing me..
“Then there's Lindz… I would say we haven't been properly introDuced. But seein’ as how ya took my moment in glory ova’ ya boy from me.. I'd say we have..”
“It's all good though, cuz you don't kno’.. Y'see Mrs. Troy, ya are married right? I wonda’ how ya husband feels when he sees Graves tryna shoot his shot at ya.. Dat's none'a my business though.. Naw.. what my business is.. is makin’ sho ya don't stick dat 'cute’ lil nose'a yours in shit dat don't concern ya..
I get it though.. even though your tha self proclaimed 'Queen of the Ring’, you had ta make an impact right.. I might be reachin’ but I'll go out on a limb an’ say ya couldn't resist puttin’ ya hands on dis sexy caramel.. I get it..”
“I'm really flattered but amazons ain't my cup'a tea.. Neva’ been a fan'a climbin’ trees.. Come Tuesday night Mrs. Troy, you can get all tha helpin's of caramel ya want. An’ I'm servin’ it up in full doses.. I get it though, ya felt a bit sorry fa ya brotha-in-law and ya wanted t'help appease his ego.. Ta thank he calls himself tha Ego Busta’.. But ya had t'help him gain back a sense'a pride, some form'a redemption fo’ knowin’ he gave me tha beatin’ of my life an’ I still didn't give him tha satisfaction of hearin’ those two words..
Tuesday night I return ta Evolution ta restore tha throne ta it's righteous position.. Tha mockery made of dis belt is finally ova an’ tha CWF can continue its ascension ta greatness as it rightfully should.. Dis company.. I'm puttin’ it on my back an’ guaranteein’ dat every otha’ company is gonna take notice.. Ya see Shad, he stands by day creed, whereas you Mrs. Troy are just anotha’ outsida tryna regain past glories off tha strength an’ name of my home.. But like I told Dan.. it's not bout what you did in tha past, cuz round here none'a dat shit matta’.. Cuz come Tuesday night, you're gonna realize dat whateva kinda juice you had back then… ain't shit compared t'tha juice I have now.. I'll see y'all in Oklahoma City..”
With that I'm done, going back to the clearing of my head, knowing that it was too clouded with emotions, aspirations and dreams. I was only twenty-three and life was coming at me with guns ablazing. And it was time for me to put my head down and come back shooting..
It was the start of the Duce Jones era in CWF and I was gonna make sure that this time around. Everyone would remembered the ride.