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 installments, 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!
The chair hit Jake’s head for a third time and blood shot out across the ring. A small piece of glass had become embedded in there and the blood had dripped all the way down to his boots. Jake was queasy from the blood loss and was feeling nauseas. He could taste the warm sting of vomit in the back of his throat. He held it back and kept going. He had to finish his first hardcore match.
When the promoter had come to Jake with the idea of having a hardcore match Jake had put up a bit of a fight. He was a high flier, a technician, not the kind of guy to do stunts and use props in his matches. But the promoter was relentless and, after an offer of a small bonus, Jake agreed to the match. He was to face Montell the Maniac, one of the most notorious hardcore wrestlers in the company. It was rumoured that he tried out everything he did in the ring at home in his garage. The thought of a grown man hitting himself in the head with pots and pans alone in his garage worried Jake a bit. But business was business.
Before the match Montell went through everything with Jake. With the meticulousness of an accountant he took stock of all the objects he would use in the match and how to use them. He graciously agreed to be the brunt of most of the attacks but warned Jake that he pulled no punches; or chair shots. Jake was okay with most of it, standard stuff really; road signs, steel chairs, kendo sticks, that sort of thing. The one thing that did worry Jake though was the fluorescent light tubes. As a rule he didn?t generally allow himself to get hit in the head with objects that would shatter into a million pieces. Montell reassured him that it was safe and to prove it cracked one over his own head. A cloud of dust filled the air and as it settled Jake could see the stupid grin on Montell’s face. Jake was reassured about the light tubes but not about Montell!
The match started out easy enough. Jake led Montell through some easy chain wrestling and even got a few basic offensive moves out of him. It was starting to look like a real match. Then Montell climbed under the ring, pulled out a garbage can full of goodies, and the fun began. Jake was okay with the road signs, they were easy to take. You just flattened your back and, provided the guy swinging the sign hit you evenly, you hardly felt a thing. Chair shots were okay too. Jake cheated a bit when he took them and would always get his forearm up just before impact. He was sneaky enough with it so that the crowd didn?t notice. Montell on the other hand would keep his hands by his side and take the whole thing right on the top of his head. What a trooper!
Jake pulled out a ladder from underneath the ring and executed a perfect moonsault on Montell. As planned Jake waved it off screaming ?That’s not enough.? He went under the ring again and pulled out a folding table. He placed it in the middle of the ring and then placed Montell on top of it. He climbed the ladder once again and jumped backwards as high as he could. It was a beautiful moonsault. Montell rolled out of the way at the last second and Jake came crashing through the table. It had all been planned of course; although Jake had not planned on being winded by the breaking table. He fought hard to catch his breath as Montell held a light tube aloft and played to the crowd. Jake stumbled to his feet as Montell brought the tube crashing down on his head. Everything went a little hazy after that.
Maybe it was the blood loss, or the force of the blow, or even the impact with the table, but Jake was a bit out of it as they got to the end of the match. He stuck to the script and even remembered the correct way to land on a bed of thumbtacks. Montell had said it was all mind over matter and that it was just like laying on a bed of nails. As Jake hit the mat and dozens of tacks pierced his back he cursed Montell and his loony philosophies. Despite the beating he?d taken Jake was scheduled to win the match. So with one slam through a barbed wire table Jake was victorious. He avoided his usual celebratory round of hand slaps and quickly made it to the back. He?d lost enough blood for one night and needed to see the medic.
The UCW medic was an ornery old doctor that everybody simply called ?Doc?. Doc was in his 70’s and his bedside manner left something to be desired.
?I don?t know why you guys do this sick crap.? He grumbled as he rather robustly cleaned Jake’s wound. ?Used to be that a guy would treat regular sports injuries; torn ligaments, sprained ankles, stuff like that. Now I?m just here to remove barbed wire from forearms and thumbtacks from guy’s asses!?
?This was my first time doing this kind of match? Jake meekly replied.
?Well congratulations!? Doc sarcastically declared as he pulled a needle through Jake’s forehead and finished stitching him up. Jake chuckled as he thought to himself that with the way Doc worked he could have had a good career as a hardcore wrestler himself.
Newly stitched up and ready for a good night’s sleep, Jake headed back to his motel. He?d been on the road so much lately that he didn?t even know what city he was in. Budget motels always looked the same as did the lonely roads they occupied. This current motel was by no means an exception. As he climbed the stairs to his room he let out a little sigh and dreamed of the luxurious places he would one day stay in. As he rounded the corner to his room he passed Mike who gave him a knowing glance and a pat on the shoulder.
?Sorry bro. Good luck.? Mike mumbled as he shuffled past.
?Sorry for what?? But Mike was gone.
Jake reached for the door but before he could grab the handle it swung open and there stood a rather stern looking Alana. Streaks of mascara ran down her cheeks and her eyes were red and puffy. Jake did not like wherever this was going.
?How could you do that to yourself?! That hardcore crap! It’s so stupid! I come all the way down here to surprise you and I have to watch you get hit in the head repeatedly and bleed all over the place! That’s sick Jake, just sick!?
Jake didn?t try to get a word in. He just let her go. When she had gotten most of it out of his system he began to try and reason with her.
?I know it’s stupid and I know that I?m better than that but it was a one off. The promoter paid me a little extra and I did it. End of story.?
?Oh, so that’s it is it. Just pay you a bit extra and you?ll do whatever he wants. What else will you do for a bit extra??
Jake didn?t like her tone or where this was going. He knew he wasn?t going to win so he shrugged it off and headed to the bathroom. He looked at his back in the mirror and all the tiny holes from the thumbtacks. That was the last thing Alana needed to see right now. So he threw on a clean t-shirt and rummaged through his shaving kit. He popped a couple of painkillers in his mouth and drank from the tap. He only took them as a precautionary measure. He knew he would be hurting from this match in the morning. Jake was being a little more precautious, a little more often than he liked but knew that if it got to be a problem he could deal with it.
He shut off the light and entered a darkened bedroom. Alana was already in bed with the covers pulled up high. As Jake got into bed she turned away from him and faced the wall. They had never gone to bed angry before and although couples always say they will never do that, the first time it happens you just go with it. Jake was too tired and too sore to put up a fight. Tomorrow would be another match another town and Alana would head home. Jake had had his first hardcore match and his first hardcore fight all in the same day. And he would choose the thumbtacks any day.