Welcome once again to the Rise and Fall of an Underdog and the story of Jake’s journey into the world of professional wrestling. As always you can contact me with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading and enjoy.
Jake got off that flight from Germany and hit the ground running. As soon as he landed he frantically dialled his cell phone. He wasn?t calling his new bride or even his mother, he was calling promoters. By the time he hailed a cab he had secured himself a weekend tour in New Jersey and a string of shows with an up and coming promotion with huge DVD sales. He had one more stop on his mission of damage control and that was Delusio’s Gym to see The Crusher.
They hadn?t spoken since Jake had set off on his European adventure and despite the fact that he had heard about the troubles in Germany, the Crusher still gave Jake a bear hug and a spine snapping pat on the back.
?Good to have you back kid? The Crusher growled as he plopped down into his battered old office chair.
?Good to be back. Anything’s better than a jail cell in butt nowhere Germany?
The Crusher laughed but turned serious in an instant. ?You messed up kid. That’s not what this business is all about; it’s not what you?re all about. Don?t let me hear about any of that crap again alright!?
?I?ll try my hardest Crusher. I really will.? Jake appreciated the candour of the Crusher and knew he was right. It hurt, but he knew he was right.
?Otherwise I?ll stop throwing you bones big dog.?
?You?ve got more bones for me??
?Yes young Jake Reynolds, the Rocket Kid. And this ain?t no ordinary bone. This ain?t no chicken bone. This is a friggin Brontosaurus bone!?
Jake couldn?t take it. ?Well, come on, you?re killing me here!?
?Guy walks into the gym about three weeks ago and I?ll be damned if it ain?t my old buddy Greg Gallant. Gorgeous Greg Gallant? Anyways, turns out he’s seen a bunch of your tapes and lucky for you he still doesn?t know about Germany.?
?Why is some random guy watching my tapes and turning up here??
?Well it also turns out that my old buddy Greg is now some sort of talent scout for a big company. Goes around watching tapes and catching indy shows. If he sees someone he likes he gives them a try out. A dark match or a house show. He likes your work kid and wants to give you a shot. And here’s the kicker kid… it’s the WWE.?
Jake had seen stars in the ring before; a stiff kick or a bad bump would send his head spinning. But nothing like the way he felt right now. He plopped down on the dirty old couch in the corner of the office, mouth agape and eyes glazed over.
?Don?t go havin? some sort of fit on me now Jakey boy.? the Crusher laughed.
Jake was in shock. He thought he had ruined everything when he lost his cool, headed butted a fan, made racist gestures and got thrown out of Europe. Now though, he was on the verge of a tryout with the biggest sports entertainment company in the world. Everyone knew the WWE; from grannies in Montana to schoolchildren in India. From the Madison square garden shows in the 60? and 70’s to Hulkamania and the Attitude era of the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. This was the biggest stage of them all. It transcended ?rasslin? into the main stream and the world’s media. The WWE was the benchmark that all other wrestling companies in the world were measured by and he was about to get a tryout.
?When?? was all he could muster.
?They?re doing a TV taping in 3 weeks in Albany. They want you there to work a dark match with another prospect. Real simple, show ?em what you can do and wow them.? The Crusher crossed the room and put a firm hand on Jake’s shoulder. ?Don?t screw this up kid. I?ve gone to bat for you so many times because I believe in you. This is your chance. This life, crappy gym, dusty office, you?re bigger than all that. I?ve always known it. You can do this kid. You can.?
Jake stood up and hugged the Crusher. He bit his lip to hold back the tears. He had come home expecting to lose it all but because the Crusher believed in him, he had everything to gain. Jake went to leave but the Crusher had one more thing to say.
?And kid, give up the junk?
As Jake left the gym he felt high as a kite but he couldn?t help but cry. The Crusher, a man who believed in him enough to push him to the highest of heights, knew about his drug use and it killed Jake. The Crusher hadn?t said more than that one sentence about it but Jake knew he was disappointed and it tore him up inside. He composed himself, let the news of his upcoming audition sink in and finally headed home to his wife.
He burst into the house and grabbed Alana. He held her and cried. She smoothed the back of his hair and tried to calm him.
?It’s okay Jakey. I understand. It?ll be alright. It’s over now. Maybe you can find a job or something. It’s not the end of the world.?
He wiped away the tears and looked straight into his wife’s eyes. ?It’s not that. I?ve done it babe. The big leagues. I?ve got a tryout with the WWE!?
Alana just stared at him. Now she started to cry. She ran off to the bedroom leaving Jake standing in the middle of the room with a look of complete puzzlement on his face. He raced downstairs after her and found her sitting on the edge of the bed sobbing.
?Alana what’s this all about? This is it, I?ve made it. This is what I?ve been working for. Everything was for this.?
?Why can?t everything be for me for once?? she sobbed.
?Don?t give me that. You know how much this means to me. This is my chance.?
?I guess I just thought that after you screwed things up in Europe you might come to your senses and give up on wrestling.?
?Give up on wrestling?? Jake screamed. ?Why would you say that?!?
Alana sat quietly staring at the floor.
?Why Alana? Why??
?You want to know why Jakey? Why I want you to give up on this crap??
?Yes goddamn it, why??
?Because Jakey… I?m pregnant?