Welcome once again to ?The Rise and Fall of an Underdog?. After a few weeks of recap we are right back into 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!
Everything was going as planned for Jake’s big return to the ring. The Rocket Kid had made his presence known in a lumberjack match at the big Super-show that the company put out on DVD that month. During the match he ran straight into a vicious heel by the name of Devon DeNile (just as planned) sending him into the steel barriers (just as planned) and they slugged it out all the way to the back (you guessed it, just as planned). DeNile was a good guy and Jake was looking forward to working a programme with him. But as much as he was looking forward to it, he was dreading heading back into the ring full time.
Jake had been training three times a week and had worn off the little bit or ring rust he had accumulated. He was in great shape physically but mentally he was still a little scared. He knew that what happened to him was an accident and would probably never happen again. Yet part of him still worried about things ending up a lot worse for him, and his mother, and Alana! Jake knew that he had to push all these thoughts out of his mind and focus on the task at hand ? presenting the best possible matches for the fans.
The first ever match between The Rocket Kid and Devon DeNile was a careful affair. Some clever chain wrestling and a bit too much mat wrestling for Jake’s liking. The finisher however wowed the crowd. DeNile took to the top rope for his famous missile drop kick at the exact same moment as the Rocket Kid jumped up and grabbed him in a flying head scissors. It took all of Jake’s strength to work against physics and send DeNile in the opposite direction to which he intended. But it worked and the crowd went wild. Rocket Kid 1 ? Devon DeNile 0.
Jake and Devon continued to light up the mid card in town after town. Some nights they would have little competitions in the ring to fight off the boredom. One time it was to see who could say the name of a Simpsons character the most times in their match. With every chop he received Jake would hiss through gritted teeth ?Lisa!? and every time Devon took a bump he would grunt ?Marge?. Jake managed fourteen utterances but that failed in comparison to Devon’s staggering twenty nine! Jake was impressed. Other times they would pick a fan who was being particularly idiotic and make sure that whenever they could they would aim their spit at him. So, whenever they took a slap or a punch they would over exaggerate the saliva that would fling from their mouths. Jake was getting pretty good and one night managed to hit a guy in the third row. Not to be outdone, Devon hit a drunken redneck in the seventh row! The tally in the ring read Rocket Kid 18 ? Devon DeNile 7 but in their competitions it was like 23-2 for DeNile! Jake didn?t mind though. He was back in the ring and he was having fun. Little did he know but he was also impressing someone very important.
After a particularly good match in Scranton Pennsylvania (Jake had won with a 450 splash; the first time he had ever done one in a match. Beautiful) Jake was approached by his promoter. Honest Bill, a nickname he had received from years of underpaying or forgetting to pay the boys, was a stocky man who looked like he had been through the ringer and back. Jake had no problems with Bill but still wouldn?t trust him as far as he could throw him (which wouldn?t be far considering the impressive beer gut Bill was presently sporting). Bill planted a firm hand on Jake’s shoulder as he introduced him to an Asian man with no neck and a handshake that the Crusher would have envied.
?Jake, this here is Yomoto Tajariki? Honest Bill said in his slurry Texas drawl. He elongated Tajareeeeeeeeki a bit too much but hey, he was trying. ?He’s one of the biggest promoters in Japan.?
Tajariki bowed a little before he spoke. ?Thank you. My Japanese All-star Wrestling Alliance is the third biggest promotion in Japan and we have just received exclusive rights on a major TV station.?
Jake was still a bit confused but he acted impressed. ?Wow that’s great. Congratulations. What brings you to our fair country??
?Why you Rocket Kid-san.?
?Yes. I have been watching DVD’s of your work for some time now and I feel that it would be a good fit in the Japanese style.?
?I?ve always told him that? Honest Bill piped up. Of course he couldn?t let any conversation go past without speaking.
?We would like to offer you a six month contract to train and work for us. This is not something to be taken lightly. I?m sure you?re aware of the intensive nature of the Japanese training style.
?Yes sir I do? Jake had heard horror stories from guys who had gone to Japan to train. Some of them had come back with scars and baggage they still carried around with them today. Jake knew all the things that would be against him but in his head he was already planning his trip!
?This won?t be a holiday kid? Bill added. ?And as you are still under contract with us we will require a small percentage of your earnings. Think of this as a loan to Mr Tajareeeeki’s company.
Jake gritted his teeth ?Yup, that’s great Bill.?
?Well we will arrange your flights and accommodation and I will speak to you soon regarding dates and times?
With that Tajariki bowed and so do Jake. He felt kind of silly but he would have to get used to it. Bill ushered Tajariki out, kissing his butt the whole way. Jake didn?t know what to do. There was no one around to talk to so Jake headed for the parking lot to rush home. Mind you, home was an eighty mile drive away in the middle of the night. Jake went a bit too fast and under normal circumstances would have been appalled with his own driving but he had to get home to tell Alana the good news as soon as possible. He whizzed down the highway, almost hitting a skunk in the process, and made it home in record time. He burst in to find Alana watching the Tonight Show and painting her toe nails. Jake ran up to her and kissed her like he?d never kissed her before.
?Whoa there big fella. What was that for?? she said, carefully placing the hot pink nail polish on the coffee table.
?I?ve got amazing news. I just met with a big promoter from Japan and he wants me to go over and train with his company. In Japan!?
Alana looked at him. There were no trumpets or fireworks, no brass band playing and cheerleaders cheering; just a girlfriend looking at her boyfriend. Then Alana burst into tears and ran downstairs. Jake just sat alone on the couch for a minute watching George Clooney talk about his new movie and then headed downstairs to do some damage control.
?I knew this would happen!? was what Jake was greeted with as he carefully entered his bedroom. Alana was sitting on the bed hugging a pillow. ?I knew you would leave me eventually. Here I am all alone, I don?t know anyone, I don?t want to go back home to Canada, I?.?
?Calm down baby. No ones leaving anyone. It’s just work. Sure, it’s for longer than usual but I?ll be back. You couldn?t get rid of me if you tried. I just need to do this. It’s the next step??
?Next step away from me you mean!?
Jake put his arm around Alana and kissed her forehead. ?Come on, now you?re just being silly. I?ll call you everyday and I?ll e-mail twice a day. And if I get enough money once I start wrestling I?ll even fly you over.
?Of course. Me and you on a Japanese adventure. We?ll wear Kimonos and drink Saki. We might even fight Godzilla!?
Alana laughed ?You?ve got me on everything but the last one.?
?It will be fine. Always is. This is all happening for me baby. And one day we?ll look back on it all and laugh. We can make it through this. I promise.?
They kissed once more and having successfully extinguished another fire Jake headed out to watch a bit more of the Tonight Show. Along the way though he removed a loose floorboard in the basement and fished out his stash of painkillers. He had managed to cut out the roids for now but couldn?t live without his nightly dose of painkillers. Jake was pushing himself in the ring and was feeling it. But it had been worth it. All of his hard work had paid off and he was now on his way to Japan. The next step in Jake’s plan had come around quickly and he was more excited than he could ever say. He knew he was going to be tested and if the culture shock didn?t kill him, the trainers would. Jake just smiled to himself as the TV flickered in the background and he dosed off to dreams of Japan and the adventure he was about to have in the ring and beyond.