I should really get over my fear of flying. I mean seriously.. these trips are beginning to take their toll. But I'm a firm believer in dying on land, rather than dying from the air.. just not my thing, ya know. But these long rides were definitely killing me and I didn't know how many times, I could drive through the desert area without feeling some discomfort. The vibe that I got whenever I passed through the area was one that I could never find myself getting comfortable with.
I blame Rish for the grueling schedule that he had lined up for this Alpha and Omega Tournament. My insomnia had came back full force and I never knew if I were coming or going. Either way, I showed up.. how, now that's a different story but I've given up on details ever since the whole Byson fiasco.
The voices were always there, bearing down tight on me like a pair of vise grip. The constant bickering was enough to drive any normal human being insane but I'm gonna let you in on a little secret.
Duce isn't a normal human being..
Oh no! I've always strived to be different. But at the beginning it was a bit of a struggle to get my footing in professional wrestling. But now, I've succeeded in almost every aspect imaginable. But I'm not the type of guy who boasts or brags about his accomplishments. I just got into that ring every night and went to work.
Now with Alpha and Omega nearing its conclusion, I felt it was only right that I show everyone who the true Alpha was. Third place was a good enough spot to manage the feat, all I had to do was make it through Paradine and then finally, my good friend, Freddie but we'll get to that later.
Right now.. the focus was finishing up this seventeen hour drive from Dallas to Las Vegas. “Killjoy” by Big Boi blared through my radio speakers as I nodded my head to the beat. These roads were becoming more familiar with each drive that I took as I weaved in and out of traffic trying to reach my destination. However, there was a plus side to this trip to Vegas and no it wasn’t unlimited gambling but after the CWF Supershow, I didn’t have to immediately get back on the road as GCWA would be hosting their pay per view, the following Sunday. So that was definitely a plus.
And there she was.. Off in the distance.. Las Vegas. In my mind, the epicenter for everything professional wrestling for the entire week and I for one wouldn’t have had it any other way. Professional wrestling and gambling, where could I go wrong?
For those who didn’t know, Las Vegas held a special place in my heart. It was the birthplace of the Smokin’ Aces, the successful two times, CWF Tag Team Championship team that consisted of Freddie Styles and myself.. But it feels like ages ago, but through thick and thin, I was forever have his back. That’s my brother for life and there isn’t shit that’s going to change that.
The tan concrete walls that surrounded the highway reminded me of home because they were so similar, especially with the pyramid structure that was off in the distance as I head forward into the city.
Though I was riding on the ultimate high after defeating former CWF competitor and current HOW Tag Team Champion, Queen of the Ring, LIndsay Troy. It was by no means easy but the job was done but I still had a bad taste in my mouth. Zolton… His treatment of me inside of the Hell in a Cell was more than enough to have me run roughshod over my last two opponents in hopes of meeting him in the Alpha Block finals. I mean, I was almost certain he would be there, he had LeStrange and Jackson as his final two opponents. LeStrange, I had beaten within seconds and Jackson.. Well Jackson was a man more focused on destruction than actually winning. I knew this first hand because he damn near ended my career. But his day was coming as well as along with Sean Fuller. But I’m a patient man.
As I neared the city, I figured the first thing that I needed to do was find a hotel room to stay for the week. But we all know that Vegas is unlike any other city, which meant it was all dependent on which casino I could see myself losing money in and I’m not saying that I got a habit.. But the hood in me loves to shoot dice.
But in all seriousness, I needed to get my mind right for my upcoming bout against the “Australian Submission Machine” Nathan Paradine. A man who first made his appearance within the CWF during the James Milenko, Hostility Attempted Takeover days but stuck around and proved himself night in and out as one of the toughest muthafuckas to step inside one of their rings. This match had major implication of where I was going to be at in the final standings after Tuesday night. So I needed to buckle down and get serious if I planned on coming out on top.
Four Hours Later
I stood outside of Zone de Tir, or in English, the Kill Zone.. a professional wrestling training school that was located out in Las Vegas, Nevada. If I was going to be prepared for Paradine then I need to make sure that I was on top of my shit. And you know something that’s crazy, my father always prided himself on being a submission specialist. There wasn’t a hold that Pops didn’t know and it was all because of the man that I was fated to meet in just mere moments. Codename: Assassin, at least that was what Pops told me to call him because officially his name was never disclosed to anyone in the wrestling business. Do you know how hard it is to keep some shit like that confidential? Especially in this day and age with all the technology that’s floating around.
But then again, Freddie is one of my best friends in this business and I truly don’t know what his last name is.. I’m not gonna focus on that though, no, I was here to get top notch tips on how to maneuver inside of the ring with a submission artist such as Nathan. Though I preferred to use every part of my body as a weapon, there was a sudden sensation that flows through your body when you have someone twisted and contorted in ways that they never thought possible. I got a small taste of that feeling when I had M.J. tied up in Pops’ patented elevated cloverleaf. The sight of watching her squirm for that split second sent an almost euphoric surge through my body that I thought that I would never experience.
Zone de Tir was a school for all comers, upstarts, seasoned rookies, vets who wanted to fine tune their game. That would be me, well I wasn’t a veteran but I wasn’t a rookie either, well going on four years strong in this business but if I ever wanted to be recognized as one of the greatest.. I had to switch it up a bit, I couldn’t keep being one dimensional, besides I wasn’t getting younger so I knew that my knee wasn’t gonna hold up for too long.
I step through the glass double doors to enter the training facility and was immediately met with a long hallway that led to another set of double doors. With a deep sigh and a hard case of the jitters, I make my way along the linoleum floor, headed for the second set of double doors. Lining the walls are photos of Assassin during his glory days in the late 90s. Pictures of other trainers in their hayday also adorn the wall as I finally make it to the doors and open them. Stepping inside, the place seemed like your typical wrestling training facility, equipment, weights, mats and most importantly a ring. There are students inside of it working on body slams, and the near sixty year old Assassin stood by the apron, coaching the students through the maneuver.
I must admit that I was nervous, the guy was a legend in this business and slowly approaching seemed like the best option at the time. At his age, he was still able to hear me coming from a mile away. Or maybe it was because the door closed with a loud slam.. I dropped my head in shame but Assassin quickly put an end to it.
“Hey, Duce! Glad to have you join the class for the week. Don’t worry about the door, it slams behind everyone.” We both laugh but it was more uncomfortable for me as my nerves were moving miles a minute. “C’mon over and join the class!” He turns back to the students inside of the ring. “You two, c’mon out of there, I wanna see what the kid got.”
This caught me by surprise, I didn’t expect him to want me to get in the ring so soon. But I oblige him anyway, removing my hoodie, throw it on one of the chairs and head for the ring. As the two students exit, I enter, walking to the center and standing there.
“Now what?” I questioned as I stood there.
“Shoot on Nathan..”
“You heard me, shoot on Paradine..”
I thought for sure that I was gonna learn a new hold but I guess he wants to hear my mic skills. But I guess if he wanted to hear about the upcoming match, then so be it.
“Two weeks..” I hold up two fingers. I’ve got two weeks ta get shit back on tha right path an’ bounce back in tha runnin’ fo’ tha Alpha an’ Omega tournament. Dat means dat dis week, Nathan you become a means ta an end.. Ya see, I personally respect tha grind dat your’re own an’ you done proved ta be one’a tha most consistent membas on tha rosta.. But dat’s where dat shit begins an’ ends. Dis Tuesday night, Novemba 5th you an’ me go one on one an’ in my eyes.. Dis match has big implicaions..”
I look around at the small gathering for a moment before I continue on.
“See when I beat you, dat’s put me one step closer ta gettin’ my hands on Zolton one mo’ time. But I’m not gonna cap an’ act like it’s gonna be a cake walk.. Naw.. I kno’ dat your’re comin’ ta make me tap but come dis supershow.. Ain’t none’a dat shit gonna happen as you become just anotha statistic ta victims who’ve fallen cuz of my knee. It’s an honor ta finally get ya one on one but it’s time fo’ tha vet ta hang it up an’ let tha new generation run dis shit.”
I stop and look over Assassin, nodding in his direction to let him know that I’m finished. He stands there quietly, just as everyone around him. The tension in the air is thick and I soon succumb to the same nervous feeling that I had when I first entered the building. He then takes a deep breath.
“Yeah.. You need some work kid.. But after a week with us, you’ll be on your way to being one of the greats.”
I’m shocked, I thought it was a decent shoot. But I wouldn’t dare argue with a legend.. Not at all, I’m just gonna shut my mouth and soak up the knowledge.