Welcome once again to the Rise and Fall of an Underdog and Jake’s story into his journey into the world of professional wrestling. As always I would love to hear from you with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading and have a great holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year.
Jake had never been so happy to see someone in his entire life. He?d been in Japan for almost four months now and he hadn?t realised how much he had missed Alana until she emerged from the arrivals gate at Narita International and bolted over to him and into his arms. With none of his vicious trainers or spiteful other trainees around Jake could let his guard down; and he did. He cried like a baby as he held the woman he loved in his arms. He didn?t want to let go. It was as if his real life had become real again; as if all of his painful journey in Japan had been a dream and he had now woken up to his reality. It was all getting too deep for Jake so he pulled himself together and took Alana by the hand and home to his apartment.
?Is this it?? Alana half laughed as she stepped into Jake’s humble abode.
?No? Jake scoffed as he opened the door to the coffin like bathroom. ?You haven?t seen the master bathroom!?
They burst into laughter and collapsed in a heap on the bed. Jake had been expecting the most passionate love making he had ever experienced but Alana was so jet lagged that she was out as soon as she hit the pillow. This was just fine with Jake. He snuggled in and stroked her hair as he listened to her breathe as she slept. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever heard. And they then had the most passionate love making session as soon as she woke up!
Well rested and well pleasured, they headed out to see some of the sites. Alana was in total culture shock. This young woman from a small Indian reservation in rural Manitoba Canada was now walking the busy streets of Tokyo. She was totally flabbergasted and Jake found it so cute. She was amazed by how much he knew and how easily he made his way around the crowded streets. They had some lunch in Jake’s favourite noodle bar and headed up to Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. Neither of them were particularly religious but the experience affected them both on a level they didn?t understand. They held hands as they roamed the grounds of the temple. They lit some incense and each said a silent prayer. Jake didn?t know what was happening until the words were already coming out of his mouth.
?Will you marry me??
Tears were streaming down Alana’s face as she simply nodded yes and buried her face in Jake’s shoulder. He had always known that he would ask Alana to marry him when the time was right. And as they stood holding each other in a Buddhist Temple in Tokyo Japan, Jake knew he had gotten in right.
Now he had to focus on getting something else right – his final match in the junior heavyweight tournament. This was going to be the biggest match of Jake’s career, literally. It was set to be held in the 55,000 seat Tokyo Dome and although Jake realised that there wouldn?t be that many fans in attendance, it still scared him. This was where some of the biggest matches in professional wrestling had occurred. Jake had been to a shrine to Buddhism that morning and that night he was going to perform in a modern day shrine to wrestling. And he was going to do it against the best opponent he had ever faced.
The Red Dragon was actually a Mexican wrestler named Hector Reyes who had been wrestling as the masked Dragon for a couple of years. The Japanese fans held him as one of their own without ever realising his nationality. Hector had been through the same training as Jake and had come out of it a star; a fact that gave Jake a lot of hope for having endured the pain he had. They met up the morning of their match to plan it out. Hector was a really good guy and Jake was glad to be having the last match of the tournament with him (even if he already knew he was going to beat him!) Jake had seen the Red Dragon wrestle a few times and was blown away by his style. He was primarily a high flyer but also relied a lot on tactical, mat wrestling. The mixture of the two was a joy to watch and, Jake hoped, a joy to compete against.
Alana kissed Jake as he headed through the curtain. As he went he caught a glimpse of the diamond ring on her finger. It was nothing to write home about but it would do. Jake hadn?t made much money on this trip to Japan but he had spent every penny of it on that ring. He was hoping to get a good payday from the match tonight and there was no reason not to. As he came through the curtains his jaw dropped a little. He kept looking up and seeing more and more fans! Sure, they were mostly there for the main event between two legends of Japanese wrestling, but they were about to be blown away by the Junior Heavyweights and the Rocket Kid.
The match was on from the opening bell. Hip tosses, arm drags and drop kicks sent both men flying across the ring. Each one sent a shooting pain to Jake’s lower back but he was running on pure adrenaline; that and the cortisone shot he had gotten while Alana was at the concession stand. He jumped as high as he could and bumped as hard as he could and revelled in the crowd’s reaction. They weren?t quiet tonight. Red Dragon slowed it down now and took the match to the mat. Jake did some neat counters and nip-ups and got the upper hand. He did a flying head scissors that sent the Red Dragon out of the ring and the audience to their feet. Hector came back into the ring and gave Jake the slightest of smiles that he could just make out under his fiery red mask. They locked up again and this time Hector sent Jake out of the ring courtesy of a vicious
Enzuigiri kick to the head. The crowd was going wild, and this was only the first match! Jake knew in his heart that they were wrestling a classic and as he headed to the finish he knew that he could never top it. He knew that this would be his last match in Japan, for now.
Everything went as planned and after a beautiful rolling neck breaker, Jake headed to the top rope. From this height he could see over the crowd and, as unbelievable as it was in this sea of people, he spotted Alana. She was cheering on the Rocket Kid like never before; like that first night in snowy Manitoba where their love began. He winked at his fianc? and then, for the first time in his career, finished off his opponent with a shooting star press. It was picture perfect and although it hurt like a mother, it was worth it. After the bell Red Dragon shook Jake’s hand in the middle of the ring and he was presented with the biggest trophy he had ever seen. The fans were going wild and Jake wanted more than anything to have a Rocky moment. He wanted to shout out ?Adrian!? Well actually, ?Alana!? but he didn?t. He just basked in the glory of the moment and wondered how the hell he was going to get this trophy home!
He was going home. After the match he would tell Tajariki and that would be that. He had made it through the training and come out on top. And he had the comically large trophy to show for it. What else had he gotten out of his time in Japan? For certain he had a deeper understanding of the psychology of the business and a new found love for the way things were run in the good ol? US of A! He had learned patience and resolve and a couple of new moves along the way. He?d made a few friends, and enemies, and despite all the garbage, he had learned a lot about himself. Add to that a burgeoning need for pain killers and a worrying dependency on cortisone shots, and that was Jake’s time in Japan wrapped up in a neat little bow. None of that worried him now though as he had a wedding to plan. Time for real life to take the lead for awhile and Jake couldn?t have been more happy to let it.