Pain. That’s all I could feel as I laid on the queen size bed of my hotel room at the LaQuinta Inn in El Paso, Texas. I may have came out victorious over RM Strong during Inferno tonight but the pain in my knee was beginning to become unbearable.
The screen on my phone lit up as it vibrated on the nightstand. I raised up to see who was calling at this hour, fortunately it was Pops. I carefully roll over on the bed in hopes that I didn’t tweak my knee any further. Pressing the green phone, I quickly switch it over to speaker phone because my body needed rest.
“Sup wit’cha Pops?”
“Nothing much, just been getting some final paperwork signed. I caught your match with GCWA.. saw that you was favoring ya knee a bit. You good?”
I sat there quietly for a moment, pondering if I should tell him the truth or not but he always pound it into my head that all a man had was his word. “It’s sore but dat’s about it.. Nothin’ t’be worried bout.. I got MJ tomorrow night an’ dat Joseph kid on Tuesday. I can push through dis.”
“You sure? Cause I have no problem pulling you and MJ’s match.”
“Pops. Chill out mane, we doin’ dat fo’ a good cause.”
“Oh I know, that’s why I’m hosting the event but there’s no way in hell I’m gonna risk my son’s well being.”
“I hear ya.” I scoot up on the bed, so that I’m now sitting up. I grab the closest pillow and prop it under my knee. “Mane look.. I kno’ ya worried bout me but ya gotta let me live an’ do me.. I got mouths ta feed now, just like you did when I was born. So ya kno’ what type’a mindframe I’m in.”
“Boy I tell ya.. Aight I’m gon’ let ya come down here and do your thing but you really need ta get that knee checked.”
“I got you, Pops.. You worry bout shit too much.. Dis ain’t tha first time tha muthafucka done gave me trouble.”
“Well you need to chill with throwing all those damn knee strikes and knee based offense.”
“I’ve been tryna get ya ta show me how ta choke a muthafucka out but ya been busy as fuck wit’ ya company..”
“Boy.. now you know that’s not fair. It’s just as much your company as it is mines.”
“Yeah but who’s droppin’ tha bands fo’ it. Ya sprang back up fo’ a hot second, make a few ends an’ now everythang gotta be off my back?”
“Are you fucking serious? We’ve talked about this on many occasions, besides it’s not like I’m tapping yo entire pocket!”
“Hell ya might as well be.. I fight through an’ keep goin’ cuh dis shit’s all on my back. Everybody.. Dependin’ on Duce! Did ya see dat fuck shit Byson pulled Tuesday? Huh? Did ya see it? My own fuckin’ brotha’ used me as a pawn ta get ahead.”
“Allen! This is a motherfuckin’ business.. You can make friends, you can have family but at the end of it all.. This is professional wrestling.. A sport that’s been around since the beginning of time. You know, there was once a disagreement about who would reign supreme over the Earth and they decided through a wrestling match..”
I’ve heard the story a thousand times from him. “Yea.. yeah an’ tha guy who lost bit tha otha dude’s dick off an’ swallowed it.. Yep heard it a million times Pops.. Still can’t grasp tha idea’a swallowin’ anotha dude’s chewed off dick.”
“That’s not the point!” Pops yelled through the phone. “Or maybe it is.. Because those guys were related and with the fate of the world on the line, defeat ended up tasting like a dick in your mouth. Which in hindsight means to me, never trust shit. We don’t know much about Byson. He just showed up and never left.”
I laugh because I never understood his messages but eventually in the long run.. They all end up making sense. “Then why even asked the guy t’be a part’a tha family business if ya don’t trust him?”
“Because at the end of the day, that’s my son.. Plus.. the motherfucka got money…. Trust me boy, we all gonna win with this investment.”
We both share a laugh from his remarks.
“I sho hope so.. well Pops, I gotta big match ta get prepared fo’ an’ it’s gonna require dat I get some rest.. I’ll meet ya in tha ‘M’ tomorrow..”
“Aight boy, I’ll see ya tomorrow.”
I didn’t bother to hang the phone up, waiting on him to do me the favor instead. I decided to slink back into my bed and give my knee the proper elevation to let some of the fluid subside.
September 7, 2019
I sat outside of the Sunnie November Recreational Center.. where in mere hours, I was set to face MJ Flair.. It was sort of a big deal to me.. Two years of working with someone and you only get to face them once kinda irked me a bit. But now I get my opportunity fair and square.
While sitting outside, trying to get my shit together, Pops walks up and has a seat next to me.
Parting me on the shoulder, he asked. "You alright boy? Look like you got a lot on your mind.
He was always able to spot when something was wrong with me, I guess you could call it a gift.
"Yeah mane… I've just tryna get my head straight.. I almost lost the other night because I was focused on the Alpha & Omega tournament.."
"How are you doing in that, by the way?"
"I could be doing better but I guess my focus has been a lil off lately.. Ya kno' dat I had my intentions set on dat Joseph guy more than my opponent? I've only watched him compete once an' tha guy's already in my head.."
"Just some kid dat CWF hired.. he thought he was gonna sit back an' chill while we all bust our ass in tha tournament but low an' behold.. Shit's happened an' he got me dis Tuesday."
"Are you worried?"
"I'm neva' worried.. just not entirely focused like I should be. Dis shit startin' ta become taxin'.. week afta' week, I'm in somebody's rang, wrestling.. my knee isn't in the best'a shapes an' I'm sho' dat a guy like Mista No Gimmicks is gonna take full advantage of it.."
Pops laughs as he looks at me.
"No Gimmicks? Don't he know that, that's a gimmick within itself?"
"Right… what isn't a gimmick these days.. How's tha show goin’?"
"It's going good actually.. Valerian's Garden is on stage performing now. I'm glad you got that situation hooked up for me son.."
"No problem Pops. Just hate dat I'm not gonna be here ta celebrate wit’ ya when the show's ova.. Gotta catch tha first flight out ta Dublin.."
"Dublin? Boy look at you, traveling the world.."
"Dublin's cool, hella places ta get fucked up at but even then, I still won't have time ta chill as I gotta head back ta Texas.."
"Well take it one match at a time.. tonight, focus on MJ then go on to the gimmick guy.."
"Oh I thank in a way, I'm lookin' past MJ an' ta ole Joe.. He says he's about wrestling, well so am I an' I've stood across from some'a tha best dat dis business has ta offer.. Where he's tryna go.. I've been an' come Tuesday night he's gonna find out first hand why. I don't do dis shit fo' tha money or tha fame.. I do dis shit cuh wrestlin' runs deep within my blood. Dis tournament was made fo' me.. it's mines to win an' I just can't see myself slippin' ta dis guy."
Pops places his hand on my shoulder.
"Calm down.. you don't wanna get yourself all amped up too much. A word of advice.. You need to stop letting your emotions control how you handle certain things. Especially in regards to losing a match, sometimes in the grand scheme of things.. it may not be meant for you to go all the way, no matter how much confidence that you have in your abilities. Sometimes the lesson is falling off of the horse, only to truly learn how to climb back on."
He pats me on the back once again.
"Now pull yourself together.. you gotta match in few minutes.."
Pops stands up and leaves me sitting there to my thoughts.
What the fuck did he mean by that bullshit. Lessons in losses? Yeah, the only lesson is that you suck!
Like always, you've misunderstood what Pops was trying to tell us..
At this point, it doesn't even fucking matter.. Taking a loss is unacceptable.
What's wrong with you?
Who? Me? Naw…
I Gotta Get My Shit Together..