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 I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments. Thanks for reading and enjoy.
Jake now had a reputation, though it wasn’t the usual one of a rowdy, drunken, deportee. No, now Jake had a reputation as a killer. The internet had become a blessing and a curse for the wrestling industry and fans were eager to be the first to blog about a match or post results online. So when a fan blogged that the Rocket Kid had killed Big Mick in the ring, news spread fast. It didn’t matter that Big Mick had died of a heart attack, and that it actually had been outside the ring, the story had legs and Jake wasn’t quick to deny it. The rumour had given Jake a new lease on life in the wrestling world. Promoters from all over the country were ringing Jake’s phone off the hook, night and day, to try and procure the Rocket Kid’s skill for a short run. They wanted to capitalise on the hype and they also wanted to get rid of the Rocket Kid name. From now on Jake would be known as The Killer.
The Killer wasn’t such a bad name, it had a ring to it, and Jake liked anything that meant he got to wrestle almost every night. He bought himself some new tights and a new ring jacket, picked some new entrance music and had a bunch of posters and t-shirts made featuring his new killer image. All the fuss actually helped him to forget about the fact that he was going through a divorce and his mother wasn’t speaking to him. Again life was taking a backseat to wrestling and Jake didn’t mind. The worries would be there tomorrow but his career might not.
Business was also very good on the pharmaceutical front. Dr Zebenkow was giving Jake plenty of work and his deliveries became more and more frequent. He met countless sports stars and rich meatheads who didn’t have enough time to go to the gym but still wanted the bodies to match their expensive cars and trophy wives. Jake even delivered to a well known action movie star who he thought would be the last guy taking steroids. All these years Jake had thought that this star had been a picture of good health and a natural lifestyle. Now though, Jake knew that this huge millionaire movie star had the same aches as him and the same need for help in achieving the body that his work required.
Jake also delivered to his usual group of wrestlers. They met in showers or behind the arena; always in secret, always in hushed tones. Most guys seemed ashamed of what they were doing but a lot of them couldn’t wait to get their juice and flex and pose with the best of them. Jake was doing a lot of flexing too as he was reaping the benefits of his employee discount. But even he was starting to notice the change in his moods. He could go from totally lethargic to some sort of angry Energizer bunny in the blink of an eye. He screamed at people in malls and supermarkets and cried himself to sleep at night. Dr Zebenkow prescribed some anti-depressants and Valium to take the edge off and they only helped to turn Jake into a slothy mess. Despite it all though, he looked great and had a big rebirth of his character ahead.
Jake’s first match as The Killer was in a thousand or so seat arena on a big Friday night card. Jake hadn’t performed in front of a crowd this big in longer than he remembered and this self professed ‘killer’ was nervous. He took care of some business backstage and then headed to the locker-room to get ready. He stood in the full length mirror admiring the stitching on the Purple and pink ‘Killer’ that ran down the legs of his new tights. He flexed and snarled in the mirror as he tried to pull his best heel face. He did a few squats and a few bicep curls to get the blood flowing and then he was ready.
As he tore through the curtain in a trance of anger and intensity, a heavy metal version of the ‘Psycho’ theme blaring though the speakers, Jake realised he had a lot of heat. But it wasn’t the kind he had been expecting. Jake had entered that grey area where his character was blatantly a heel but the fans cheered him like he was a babyface. He tried hard not to smile as fans clapped him on the back and held up their Killer signs. He avoided his usual entrance of jumping over the top rope and merely climbed through, stood in the corner, and waited for his prey.
His prey was a green young wrestler who Jake had only met moments before he hit the ring. He had told the kid not to worry and that he would call it all out there. He warned the kid that he had to stay true to his heat and would have to be a little stiff with him. But this poor kid had no idea what he was in for. Jake had altered his move set to feature a lot more power moves, chops and kicks. All of these were as real as could be and by the end of the match the green young wrestler was covered with big red hand prints and vicious welts. Jake took the match home but not before he stood over his dazed opponent and mimed pointing a gun to the kid’s head and pulling the trigger. The crowd cheered as Jake followed this with a brutal spinning heel kick that took the kid out for the 1-2-3. Jake didn’t celebrate. He just wiped his hands over his fallen foe and walked straight backstage. The Killer was well and truly born.
The boys already had the beer flowing and they all wanted to congratulate Jake on his new character. The young wrestler repeatedly thanked Jake as he fought back tears and limped home. Jake laughed with all the boys at the young kid’s war wounds and drank another beer. Then a booming voice from the past spoke up behind Jake.
“Hello kid” said the Crusher. “Or should I say Killer”
Jake hadn’t seen or heard from the Crusher in longer than he could remember. His mentor looked old and beaten down and he leant on a metal can; his grey hair longer and scragglier than Jake remembered and the glint in his eyes was all but gone. Jake hugged his old friend and noticed that he didn’t really hug back in the old Crusher way.
“Wow, it’s been awhile hey. Come down to see the rebirth of the Rocket Kid?”
“No” the Crusher responded without a hint of emotion in his voice. “I just came down to tell you that Big Mick was a good friend of mine.”
“Okay, good to know” Jake laughed at this with a couple of the boys as he swigged his beer.
“And I think what you’re doin’ here, profiting of another man’s misfortune, is disgusting and belittles the industry!”
“Hold on now Crusher. I’m just trying to make a living like everyone else in this business, just like you were doing twenty, thirty years ago. I’m sure you did things that some people would find disrespectful, we all do!”
The Crusher was undeterred “I trained you, taught you this business because I saw something different. You weren’t like the rest of them. And now look at you!”
Jake put down his beer. “Yeah, look at me!” He flexed his steroid induced muscles and all the boys cheered.
“Amazing what a few needles and pills can do. I thought you were better than all of this kid. I know your mother raised you better”
“Don’t you mention my mother to me!” Jake screamed as he squared up to the Crusher.
“Or what kid? You know and I know that woman is hurting now. Just like all the women in your life.”
Jake reared back and punched the Crusher straight in the face. He hit the floor like a sack of potatoes. A few of the drunker boys cheered but most knew who the Crusher was and the seriousness of the situation. The Crusher struggled to get to his feet, his broken down knees barely worked as he leaned against a bench and used all of his strength to get up from the floor. Blood trickled down his nose and Jake could now see that tears streamed down the Crusher’s face as well. He didn’t retaliate, he didn’t shout. The Crusher just stared at Jake and said “Goodbye kid. Call your mother.” With that, Jake’s broken down mentor hobbled his way out of the locker-room and down the ramp that led out of the arena. The boys had all scattered now and called to Jake to join them for a post match drink. Jake stood alone for a minute as he took in all that had just happened. He knew he should be upset, he knew that he should run after the Crusher and apologize, but he just stood there. It was if he was frozen, numb. His Killer character hadn’t been left in the ring. As he stood alone in the locker room, fists clench and pallid zombie look in his eyes, Jake felt like a killer. And it kind of felt good.