Welcome once again to ?The Rise and Fall of an Underdog? and Jake’s story of his journey into the world of professional wrestling. As always you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions. Thanks for reading and enjoy!
Jake drew the line at scrubbing backs. He had seen the other guys do it for their sempais, but there was no way he was stepping into the shower with Futoshi and lathering him up. As he watched the other trainees doing it he could only imagine how it made them feel; demoralized and subservient, they did it. Luckily for Jake, Futoshi had no interest in having Jake clean his body; just his car, clothes, dishes, and even his house. Jake had actually kind of enjoyed power washing the outside of Futoshi’s modest home on the outskirts of Tokyo. As he cleaned, I-pod tuned to shuffle, grooving along to each random song, Jake lost himself for a couple of hours. As the mucky pollution trickled down the drains, Jake was starting to feel a bit cleansed himself. It was a weak metaphor he knew, but all of a sudden Jake was feeling a little more whole; like he could actually make it through the hell that was his Japanese training.
The next day though, as a trainer fractured his wrist on purpose, no amount of pressure washing could wipe away the anger he was feeling. After an afternoon in a local hospital Jake did what any sensible young man would do in his situation? went right back to training. Broken wrist or no broken wrist he wasn?t going to let these low life’s beat him. He popped a couple extra pain pills and joined right back in. He could see the look of disbelief on the trainer’s face as he stepped through the ropes and faced him. As he approached, Jake’s instinct was to take him down and slap on a hold of his own. But he fought this urge and stood his ground. The trainer approached and brought a hand up towards Jake. He tensed up but did not move. The trainer simply patted Jake on the back and walked away. This simple gesture, this weak attempt at acceptance, was the first real victory Jake had achieved in his time in Japan. In a sport that’s so ?fake?, this was real, and Jake relished every moment of it.
He didn?t relish it later that night though as the pain shot up his arm and wouldn?t let him sleep. He didn?t have a TV, and his I-pod was dead from all the power washing rocking, so he tried to read a book and relax. He had brought a stack of John Grisham and Stephen King novels but hadn?t had a chance to read them. Most nights he passed out before his head hit the pillow and he was too busy playing housewife for Futoshi in all of his other spare moments. He was trying his hardest to read one about a young lawyer whose blackmailed by a big company and has to fight to get justice, but the pain was too much. He popped another couple of pain pills, bringing the days total to more than he would liked to have admitted. Then there were the steroids. They had made him edgier than usual as well; which certainly didn?t help him to get a restful night’s sleep. He chalked it up to the fact that he wasn?t used to the Japanese street brand he was taking. Either way, it was working. He had been going to the gym everyday and living off a strict diet so he supposed that natural effects were part of it. Yet he had more muscle mass than ever before and definition that he had been killing himself to achieve for years. His butt felt like a pin cushion and his balls hurt, but Jake didn?t care. He knew he had to be big to impress the crowds in Japan and more importantly he had to be good. He had both these things now and was ready to have a match.
When he approached the promoter the next day, dark rings under his eyes and an aching that now enveloped his whole arm, Jake was surprised by the quick, matter of fact response he received.
?You wrestle Masuto on Sunday.?
That was it. He had his first match. He wasn?t over the moon about the fact that it was with his surly carpool partner, but it would do. He knew Masuto would be stiff with him and that he most definitely wouldn?t be going over on this night. It was a step though, a step in the right direction. And none of the other trainees would be on the bill. Jake felt bad for British Allan, but not that bad. In actual fact Allan had turned out to be a better friend than a wrestler. Jake couldn?t worry about the others now. He had to focus on the match, getting past the linguistic barriers with Masuto and most importantly, not getting killed in the ring! Jake had a spring in his step as he headed out to do his sempai’s dry cleaning and plan a match that would propel the Rocket Kid to new heights in the land of the rising sun.