Welcome to another edition of The Rise and Fall of an Underdog. Thanks for reading and I hope you?re enjoying the story of Jake’s journey to the big leagues. If you have missed any instalments, check out the previous Thursday’s posts or let me know and I can send it to you. I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and would always love to hear any comments, questions, or requests you might have. Happy reading!
Jake had a loyal fan base and appreciated their eagerness. Sometimes they could get a bit overzealous but he understood that they were the reason why he was doing the job he loved. Without the fans he would probably still be working at the Electronics Emporium and he certainly would never have met Alana. So when eager female fans grabbed at him as he went to the ring he laughed it off. Or when they waited outside the arena for autographs and ended up telling him their life story he simply nodded and smiled. He had a bit of a harder time though when they showed up at his hotel room. That was kind of like crossing an imaginary line for Jake. The line where wrestling ended and real life began. He regretted being a bit curt on a few occasions and acting like a diva when all he wanted was a little sleep. Right now he needed his rest and he needed to focus on his upcoming program with Flash Finnegan.
Jake had worked a few matches with Flash in the past and really enjoyed it. They clicked in the ring together. When they wrestled Jake felt a bit guilty because it was so easy and effortless. Although they were both high fliers they didn?t try to outdo each other in the ring. They worked off each other to make their opponent look good. It was uncommon for two babyfaces to work a program together for a prolonged period. This could split the fans and go totally wrong for one of the combatants. But their matches were magic and the fans loved it. Flash Finnegan’s fans were just as boisterous as the Rocket Kid’s and not at all scared to tell Jake how they felt; all in good fun. One night though Jake had his first run in with not a fan but a fanatic.
After a particularly gruelling match in front of a really hot crowd, Jake hit the showers and made a hasty retreat from the arena. He didn?t feel like going drinking with the boys this night. He was sore from an awkward landing when he put Flash through the time keepers table. As many time as you did a spot with a table there was no denying the stiffness you felt afterwards. Jake crossed the dimly lit parking lot and made his way to his car. His road buddy Mike was having yet another rowdy night out with the boys so Jake had the car and the hotel room to himself for awhile. As Jake fumbled with his keys he heard someone clear their throat right behind him. Jake jumped back and noticed the mystery throat clearer to be a portly middle aged man with a beer belly poking out from underneath his Flash Finnegan t-shirt.
?You scared me man. You might want to reconsider sneaking up on people in darkened places.? Jake chuckled. But the mystery throat clearer did not. He was all business.
?You might want to reconsider putting champions through tables in non-title matches!? the mystery throat clearer said in a voice that sounded like it needed some more clearing.
?Okay buddy. Thanks for the advice. Thanks for coming to the show.?
Jake stuck out his hand and the mildly creepy Flash Finnegan fan just stared at it. He looked up at Jake and then spat on the ground in front of him. He turned away and plodded head down into the darkness. Jake stood there for a moment, chuckled to himself and continued his journey to his hotel room.
Jake was still chuckling as he headed up the stairs to his hotel room. He was struggling to carry a six pack of beer and a pizza while trying in vain to reach his room key. He managed to get it out just as he reached his door. Standing at that door was mystery throat clearing man. And he didn?t look happy.
?Okay buddy it’s getting to be a bit much now.? Jake said as he placed his food on the floor. ?I know you?re a big fan of Flash but the match is over now and this is my private time. So I?d appreciate it if you just head home and we?ll see you at the next match.?
The mystery throat clearer snarled. ?If you keep risking an injury to Flash there won?t be another match!?
Jake was starting to get a little more than creeped out by this weirdo. He tried to maintain his composure as he sized the guy up. Jake was sure he could take down a middle aged obese man but was a bit worried about the way this guy kept one hand in his pocket clutching something.
?Okay, I don?t want any trouble. I promise I?ll be more careful in the ring with Flash if you promise to leave me alone now to enjoy the rest of my evening.?
The crazed fan looked deep into Jake’s eyes and smiled. This relieved Jake until he noticed that the fan was struggling to get his hand free from his coat pocket. Jake leaned back against the wall as mystery throat clearer freed his hand and raised it towards Jake. In it was a beat up old 1980’s wrestling action figure; the big thick rubber kind that didn?t bend. Jake could tell that it was the Dynamite Kid from the British Bulldogs tag team. But over Dynamite’s face the crazed fan had stuck a picture of Jake’s face from that night’s program.
?I hope you?ll be more careful. I don?t want to have to use this!?
With that the mystery throat clearer turned on his heels and ploughed his way down the corridor and out of the hotel. Jake had never experienced any like what had just happened. He had really been scared by this fan and wasn?t quite sure what to do next. He would tell the promoter and Flash in the morning and he would make sure that everyone knew to look out for this guy. Jake picked up his beer and pizza and settled into his room. He managed a weak chuckle to himself as he downed the first few beers in quick succession. The evening’s sufficiently weird moments had put Jake’s relationship with the fans in some odd sort of perspective. He wasn?t sure how he was feeling about them right now but he that he wasn?t about to let one wacko change his opinions. Yes Jake still appreciated the fans. Just not the ones who made voodoo dolls of him!