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!
Jake was about to become a champion for the first time. Technically it was the second time but he didn?t really consider the few minutes he had won the International Title from the Crusher to be a real title run. He was ready for a real run as a champion and he was about to get it. Things with Alana were still rocky but Jake had become single mindedly focussed on the business and wasn?t about to let his personal problems take precedence over his professional life. He was about to become the PCW Junior Heavyweight Champion.
There was no pomp and circumstance when he found out he was to become champion. It happened in a routine meeting backstage while the promoter was doing some housecleaning.
?Don?t forget to pick up your travel allowances from the office this week. It’s not much but the gates have been a bit short lately. It?ll get better. Next month’s show at the Coliseum is selling well and we?re decided to have all the titles changes hands on that night. The Boogie Brothers are going to win the tag straps, the Rocket Kid will win the Junior Title and Monstrosity is going to win the Heavyweight Title. See you all in Wilmington this weekend.?
That was it; Jake was going to be champion. He had worked several matches on the road with the current Junior Heavyweight champion Flash Finnegan. Flash was a fellow high flier and they made magic in the ring together. It was always a great feeling when you got to work a program with a guy you clicked with, when every match could be a four star affair. Jake couldn?t wait to plan out the match and give the crowd a title win they would remember.
But finding out about his upcoming title win hadn?t been a totally positive experience for Jake. After the meeting he had started to head back to his motel when he realised he had forgotten to ask the promoter about his pay. As he rounded the corner to the dressing room he could hear two wrestlers talking. The voices belonged to the soon to be heavyweight champion Monstrosity and another big guy by the name of Johnny Ravage. Jake started to head in to the room when he heard them mention his name. He stopped in his tracks and listened.
?Yeah the Rocket Kid’s got talent but I don?t think he’s championship material.? Monstrosity said in his freakishly deep voice.
?I know? Johnny agreed. ?He’s impressive and all that but a bit forgettable.?
?And he’s a bit of a runt too. Too damn small.?
?Yeah. You don?t have to worry about that guy making a run for your Heavyweight title.?
Jake decided to forget about his question for the promoter and get out of there before he was discovered eavesdropping. As he headed back to the motel all he could think about was what he had heard in the dressing room. Did all of the boys feel that way about him? They had always been so supportive of his career but now he wondered if it was all just an act. Just a show when they really thought he was a tiny waste of time. Jake had struggled so hard to get where he was and to put on enough weight to both protect his body and be a convincing force in the ring. Genetics had dealt him a duff hand and there was nothing he could do about it. He tried to get to the gym as often as humanly possible but life on the road made this nearly impossible. If you were lucky enough to find a gym in the armpit of the universe towns they went to you were even luckier if they let you actually work out without a membership. Jake’s worst fear in the business had finally reared its ugly head; he needed help to bulk up.
The Juice was the guy to see if you needed a little help in the muscle building department. This wasn?t OJ Simpson though, this was a 350 pound Puerto Rican with arms the size of tree trunks and a medical bag that most surgeons would envy. Jake had meekly approached him after a show and even more meekly inquired about purchasing some goods.
?What are you after?? Juice had asked in an almost whisper.
?I just need to bulk up. Maybe get a bit more definition.?
?No problem. $500 will get you a month’s worth and that should get you nice and ripped for the big show at the Coliseum. You?ll look better than you ever have.?
That was all Jake needed to here. The next day he met the Juice in his motel room and handed over ten crisp fifty dollar bills and received a crumpled brown paper bag. The Juice gave him a firm handshake and a congratulatory pat on the back. Jake didn?t feel the need for congratulations. Actually he felt kind of sick.
Jake thought the name Human Growth Hormone sounded suitable and medical enough. As he jabbed the needle into the fleshy part of his butt he admitted defeat to himself. He looked at himself in the bathroom mirror and sighed. He gave a little flex and thought he looked just fine. But what the fans and his peers thought was what he was worried about most right now. Jake had made a commitment to the business and realised that this title win could be his ticket to the big leagues. Fast, little wrestlers never made it past the mid card. And although they made an impact on the fans they could never draw the big money the heavyweights did. Jake wanted maximum exposure even if it meant the minimum effort that steroids required. He knew he would still have to go to the gym and stick to his diet and that’s the way he wanted it. Some semblance of normality was required in all this.
Jake packed up the viles and needles and hid them in the bottom of his bag. He certainly didn?t want his roommate Mike stumbling upon them. And who knew when Alana would pop by for a surprise visit. Alana? What would she think about all of this? Jake cast the thought out of his mind and settled in for a restless night’s sleep. Just a month’s worth he thought to himself. Just a month.