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 instalments, 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 night of the big show at the coliseum had arrived and Jake was buzzing. He had worked a good programme with Flash and the fans were really in to it. Jake had never been so over in his career and this title win was just the icing on the cake. And Jake had never looked better either. He had made a deal with himself that he would only stay on the juice long enough to beef up for his title match. He had also been going to the gym more and trying to stick to a diet that life on the road made very difficult. Yet he knew that the bulk of his definition had come from a bottle and, although he felt a little defeated by this, he knew that no one backstage could doubt his ability to portray a champion now. And tonight was the night that came true for Jake.
There was one other added stress for Jake this night. UCW had just signed a deal with a cable wrestling channel in the north east to present a weekly hour long show and tonight was going to be the first taping. Jake had had dozens of his matches taped for the DVD’s that the company sold online and at the shows. But this was different. This was a TV show that had the potential of reaching far more people than the loyal fans of UCW. This could reach people in other, bigger companies. This could be a ticket to the big leagues and it made Jake more nervous than ever.
Flash Finnegan had been a pleasure to work with and he and Jake rarely had to plan their matches. They simply had a rough sketch and a finish. They would take turns calling the matches and every night it worked better than the night before. They had worked more than 30 matches together in the 6 weeks leading up to tonight so they knew each other well. But they still arrived at the arena early to go through their match. They both understood the importance of this match and that who won or lost was not the big issue. The main thing was to entertain the fans and both look as good as possible for TV.
With their match planned, including a great finish involving a countered victory roll in the corner, Jake relaxed backstage and got ready with the boys. Jake looked around the dressing room and found himself being a bit introspective. He looked at this random collection of men that he travelled with and spent most of his life with. From the monstrous, bulky, quite frankly scary looking men who Jake knew as humble and quiet outside of their wrestling personas to the midget wrestlers who could be a royal pain in the ass. From the referees who secretly wished they had the ability to be on the other side of a match to the old timers who were hanging on for one last moment in the spotlight. Jake loved them all. Sure he would have liked to be home with Alana and his mother more often, but these guys were like his family on the road; his brothers. And Jake wouldn?t have it any other way.
Jake and Flash were up first. The pressure was on for them to open this first TV taping and get the crowd in the Coliseum and at home gripped to the action. Jake’s music hit and he ran down to the ring, slapping every hand he could. The crowd roared as he stood in the corner and applauded them all. Flash’s music hit and the crowd roared just as loud (if not a bit louder). Flash took his time coming to the ring and acknowledged as many of his fans as possible. Little did they know that their hero would be losing his title tonight. Flash entered the ring and he and Jake met in the middle. They held a bit of a stare down but then in a sportsmanlike gesture of good will they shook hands.; two babyfaces hanging on to their characters as they embarked on a classic. The bell rang and the match was on.
There was no starting out easy for Jake and Flash. They went right into a complicated set of chain wrestling. Each taking the advantage for a while and then losing it, bringing the crowd with them the whole way. Jake was the first to do some high spots and landed a moonsault from the top rope to the outside of the ring. Flash landed a bit awkwardly and Jake whispered to him to make sure he was okay. He nodded yes and the match continued. Jake took the lead for a while and Flash sold it like there was no tomorrow. Jake went to the top again and leapt halfway across the ring for a fog splash but Flash rolled out of the way and the match was his for awhile. He sent Jake off the ropes and caught him with a perfect flying head scissors. The crowd roared and both Jake and Flash knew that they had them. Flash continued to throw Jake around the ring like a rag doll and Jake sold for him just as well as Flash had done. As planned Jake countered a suplex and took Flash to the mat. They both lay there catching their breath and listening to the crowd. Fans were already clapping for these two amazing combatants and Jake and Flash were soaking it all in. As Jake and Flash started to get to their feet Jake whispered ?Let’s take it home?. Flash knew what to do. He attacked Jake with a barrage of punches and chops and sent Jake into the corner. He raced in at full speed and caught Jake with a vicious high knee. Flash quickly climbed behind Jake and onto his shoulders. He pitched forward for a victory roll but Jake caught him as he went under his legs and pressed him to the mat for the three count. The match was over, the fans cheered and Jake was now the Junior Heavyweight Champion.
Flash stood with his head down and his hands on his hips; his sullen face contorted to look mad at himself and at Jake. But after a moment he extended his hand and he and Jake shook before embracing in a hug. Every fan in the arena was on their feet and as Flash buckled the championship belt around Jake’s waist and raised his hand as Champion the crowd went wild. Jake joined the crowd in applauding Flash as he left the ring. Jake ran to the corner and did something he hadn?t done in awhile; he pointed to the heavens as a sign to his departed father. Jake began to cry as he stood in the ring. He hadn?t thought about his Dad in weeks and it was all too much for him. In this moment of personal triumph Jake felt greedy and alone at the same time. But he pulled himself together, knowing that his Dad would be proud and would not want to see him like this. This was Jake’s moment. He was a wrestling champion and hopefully soon to be a big TV star. Life was tough but life was good. And as he stood in the middle of the ring listening to the adoration of his fans, nothing else mattered.