AS 121 - Ace Stevens versus Callie Clark (Non-Title)
RP Deadline Monday 2nd October 23:59 (Central).
Extensions available upon request.
Here lies Stanley Rogers.
That was all the tombstone read. No date of death. Certainly no date of birth, for even Stan himself was never truly sure. He was convinced he was born sometime in the summer, but the year was most definitely up for debate.
There were no flowers beside the grave either. But this was almost certainly at the behest of Rogers himself, who believed naturally colourful things to be too feminine.
Sitting six feet and one inch (Stan’s ‘shoot’ height) away from the tombstone was Ace Stevens. His clothing was the same as it always has been (although as a sign of respect, he had switched out his usual white v-neck for a more mournful black). His body language, however, was remarkably different to the usual abrasive nature the WZCW fans had grown to love. His legs were crossed, as if he was a small child again, waiting to be read a book by his grandfather. He was also playing with strands of grass, aimlessly. Tearing at them slowly as he spoke.
“I’m not really sure what to say here. In the films it looks so normal. But to be honest, I feel like kind of an asshole right now. I mean, you can’t hear me. But I guess there’s some things I gotta say to you all the same.
I guess the main thing is I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the things I said. If I could go back in time and change it, I would. I’d Superman that shit. But I can’t. It’s just… it’s just I had no idea you were that in to The Big Bang Theory. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know that you could work a TV. And I’m sorry for what I said about Sheldon’s characterisation. I guess some things are better left unsaid.
I also need to say thank you. I wasn’t really up to much before I met you. Didn’t know hammerlock from a wristlock. A fisherman’s suplex from a northern lights suplex. A ring rat from a fine, upstanding young lady. Everything that I am as a wrestler, I owe to you. Well, everything good about me as a wrestler.
I’m facing the Elite Openweight champion next week, by the way. Not for the title. Not yet, anyway. But things are going well. I lost to Justin Cooper, but only because of his buddies. I beat Tony Mancini and War Zone. Oh man, War Zone. You should see the size of this guy. You’d like him. Probably. The only man I’ve met who hates Nikita Khrushchev as much as you do. Did. Fuck.
You taught me so much. Everything I know, really. And I know that if you were here now, we’d be in the Rogers family chamber, working on rest holds, strikes and stuff. You’d probably have some weird plan for me to beat Callie Clark, too. Like that time you helped me beat Ricky Runn by making your granddaughter attack me. Or when you kept punching me for no real reason. Obviously I hated it at the time. Your fists were like Christmas hams. But now I would do anything to be punched by you again.
Do you remember that time we were in southern California for a show? And it was raining and you said it reminded you of that song by Albert Hammond – The Free Electric Band? Then we sang it together. How we sang. And then you looked into my eyes and said something to me which I never forgot. You said “treat every match like it’s a championship match”. In hindsight, it wasn’t in keeping with the moment. But the meaning wasn’t lost.”
As a single tear runs down Ace’s sullen face, a familiar voice is heard.
“What the hell are you doing, son?”
Ace recognises the voice immediately. It is unmistakable. He instantly turns his head to see Stan Rogers watching him from a careful distance.
“A GHOST! FUCK!”
Stevens picks up a small rock and prepares to hurl it at the apparition.
“Put it down, son. I ain’t a ghost.”
“You’re a- what the… why would you? You faked your own death?”
“An ex-wife can’t collect alimony from a dead man.”
“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!”
“Listen, kid, I’ve done it eight times” says Rogers, counting on his fingers. “No, nine. Most of them were to get the IRS off my back, to be honest.”
“I… I can’t be doing with this right now. Goddamn lunatic old man…”
Ace mutters angrily as he walks away, leaving a very much alive Stan Rogers staring at his own grave. This would be poetic for most people. But, of course, Stan Rogers doesn’t believe in poetry.
Forty five minutes have passed. Ace’s anger has somewhat dissipated, as Stan bought him two Happy Meals from a nearby McDonald’s. Ace received the same toy from both (a Wonder Woman bobble head). But he didn’t much care. He was just happy to see his mentor alive and in living colour. He was also delighted to have a large banana milkshake in front of him. But, primarily, his happiness was Stan Rogers-related.
“Right, I gotta know. What the hell were you doing, son?”
“You know what I’m talking about. Crying is for children, women and the French. And as far as I know, you're in your thirties, got a pecker and you're from New Amsterdam.”
“Really? When did they change that? Look, not important. What’s important is that you stay mentally tough for your title match.”
“It’s not a title match.”
“Do you remember that rainy day in southern California? Where we listened to Albert Hammond? Do you remember what I said?”
“Treat every match like it’s a title match…”
“Exactly. So this is now a title match. Now tell me more about this Callie broad.”
“Well she’s deceitful, full of herself, rich.”
“Sounds like my fifth wife.”
“And, y’know, hot…”
“What? Like, she’s warm? Well I mean, she’s gotta be if she’s from California. But I don’t-”
“No, her name’s Callie. She’s not from Cali. She’s from New York. But it ain’t Brooklyn. She’d probably faint if she ever came to BK. And she’s a cosplayer.”
“A what now? Come on, son, speak English.”
“Cosplay. It’s dressing up and stuff, but not just for Halloween. Look.”
Ace gets some images of cosplayers up on his phone and shows them to Stan.
“But why?” asks Stan, genuinely dumbfounded.
“Fun, I think.”
“MLP furry cosplay? What’s that?” enquires Stan, as he innocently clicks on the recommended link. “Jesus Christ, this country is due another war.”
Stan throws the phone on the table.
“Right, son. Action stations. We’ve gotta talk strategy. ‘Cause I ain’t having you lose to that. You say this Callie character is arrogant, devious and stuff? Well you’ve gotta be everything she ain't. You got it? You've got a love length, she's got a love basket - that's one key difference already. She likes dressing up all the time, you ain't changed your clothes since 1992. There's another.”
“Whatever. So if she's lying all the time, you gotta be honest. If she's arrogant, you've gotta be humble.”
“I am humble. I'm the most humble guy in this restaurant. Look at my face - my beautiful, beautiful face. Does that not say humble to you? I'm like Ghandi or Keanu Reeves. Or that monk that set himself on fire. Look, Callie Clark? She’s got nothing on me. She’s some stuck-up Manhattan chick who’s keeping the title warm for me. We good, bro. We good.”
“NO!” shouts Stan, slamming his fist on the table.
Patrons look up from the Big Macs. Children stop playing in the ball pit. Stan edges his face towards Ace’s, to the point where their noses are touching.
“You’re very close to me.”
“I know, we’ve been through a lot together.”
“I meant physically.”
“If I ever give you one piece of advice, son, let it be this. Never underestimate a woman. I underestimated a woman once. Once.”
“I know you’re waiting for me to ask for the stor-”
“The year was 1938” begins Stan, reclining in his seat. “I was to work the 2nd Annual Whitley City Fair in southern Kentucky. The promoter asked me who I wanted to work with, I said give me anyone and he gave me… her. Ermantrude the Great. German, she was. She had hands like trashcan lids. I swear I saw her eat a piece of chicken in one go. What a woman she was. When she stepped in the ring with me, I was both terrified and aroused. And do you know what happened in the match?”
“I don’t but I’m sure you’ll tell me.”
“That’s right, she put me in a Boston crab and didn’t let go until my back snapped like a goddamn Oreo. That is why you never underestimate a woman, son. Have a gameplan for Callie. Or she’ll break you like Ermantrude broke me. Now what say you to heading down to the Rogers family Chamber and doing a bit of training for this match.”
“If by ‘Rogers family Chamber’ you mean the local strip joint and by ‘training’ you mean buying a ridiculous amount of steak and cigars, I’m there.”
“That sounds much better, son. Now tell me more about this War Zone guy. Sounds like a good man.”
“Tall but dumb.”
“Sounds like my sixth wife.”
The two men laugh as they walk off into the sunset with one another. Alert WrestleZone Championship Wrestling, for the odd couple of industry is united once again.
Backstage After Ascension Last Week: Becky Serra's Office
I was not happy. Tonight was my chance to finally beat Eve, to prove she wasn't better than me, to get that monkey off my back. But what happens instead? That idiot from Boston chokes and costs me MY victory! Sure I'd still only been pinned once, so technically the loss wasn't even a loss, but if I'm not winning I'm failing, and failure is NOT acceptable. I was determined to end my losing streak and the best way to do that was a singles match, nobody to steal my win by pinning someone else, no idiot tag partner to cost me the victory, and I knew just who to talk to. I barged into the office of the Ascension General Manager, and instantly I could see the annoyance on the face of her, oh well sucks to be her.
Becky: Ms. Clark, to what do I owe this....pleasure?
Becky sat up in her chair, eyebrow raised as she looked at me.
Callie: I'm sick of losing and it's all your fault!
Becky looked confused as I slammed my fists on the desk.
Becky: My fault? Well I'm not sure how you can blame me, but I'm certainly interested in hearing how exactly it's my fault you didn't win your last two matches.
I was in no mood to deal with her attitude, but I needed something from her so I had to play nice.
Callie: Because YOU keep booking me in these matches with the odds stacked against me! First you put me against Eve and Batti, knowing they both hate me and would just work together to beat me! Then you made me team with that idiot mute from Boston tonight and he failed! If I was out there tonight with Gabi, not only would we have won, we would have DOMINATED! So next week I want a singles match, I don't even care against who, I'll beat whoever you throw against me!
Becky seemed intrigued by this, and thought about for a minute before nodding her head. About time someone around here listens to me.
Becky: Alright I can do that, in fact I have the perfect person in mind for you to face. Next week on Ascension, you will go one on one with Ace Stevens. Someone I think you'll find has a lot in common with yourself.
I grinned, I didn't know much about Ace Stevens, but I guess I'd find out. If he's as much like me as he's made out to be, maybe they'll be someone around here who doesn't drive me nuts, but then again nobody is on my level and nobody is as perfect as me, except for Gabi of course. Having got what I wanted out of Becky, I thanked her and left, even I can be nice when I get what I want.
A Few Days Later: Callie and Gabi's mansion in New York
I had a few days to myself before the next Ascension and I took that time to go home and visit Gabi and Bates. I hadn't had a chance to talk to Gabi since she got home and that just wasn't right. As I walked into the large house, I handed my bags to Bates, put Sid down on the floor and yelled out to my sister.
I made a bee line for her bedroom, and got to her doorway just as she was, I would have knocked her over her if she wasn't much bigger than me. After regaining our composure, we quickly hugged.
Callie: Ahh sis I've missed you, it just isn't the same in WZCW without you there by my side. How are you doing? I'm so glad you're home finally.
Gabi walked over to her bed and sat down on the edge of it, as I walked into the room and stood against the wall.
Gabi: I'm doing okay, no where near ready to get back into a ring, but I'm slowly recovering. How are you doing though? I saw you've lost you're last two matches.
I rolled my eyes, I wish nobody would mention that ever again.
Callie: Ugh don't remind me. And they haven't even been my fault, but this week I got Ace Stevens in a singles match so it's all on me to succeed, and my title isn't on the line so at least I don't have to worry about that going anywhere, anytime soon. But I was doing some scouting on Ace Stevens and not only is he also a New Yorker, but he also has some of the same tendencies as me, like being willing to do anything to win.
Gabi: And he's a big mouth, like someone else I know.
Gabi looked over at me and grinned, I gasped. She soooo did not just call me a big mouth!
Callie: How dare you! You're lucky you're injured or I'd totes be kicking your butt right now!
Gabi chuckled and shook her head as I crossed my arms.
Gabi: Changing the subject, he's just a brawler, he has no real skills in that ring. You can totes beat him. It isn't a no DQ match so it's not like he can grab a weapon, so just outwrestle him and outsmart him like you did to Batti when you took her belt.
I nodded, I agree Ace doesn't seem like a good wrestler, brawling isn't skill. Anybody can throw punches and swing weapons, but on the flip side I know he could still beat me if I under estimate him. I need to give him everything I've got and continue to prove to the world why I am the Elite Openweight Champion, and why I am a legend of tomorrow.
Callie: True true, and let's not forget the biggest difference between Ace Stevens and I, he's a low class thug! I mean hello, he's a proven criminal! How did he even get hired in the first place!? I can't believe their making me wrestle a thief, if he gets anywhere near my championship, I swear I'll break his fingers!
Gabi: You know he probably used his criminal skills to get hired in the first place.
Callie: Pfft probably! You know I looked him up on instagram and twitter after I found out I was facing him? You won't believe what I found.
Gabi raised an eyebrow, clearly she was curious.
Gabi: What'd you find?
Callie: Nothing! He doesn't even have a twitter or instagram account! Like um, hello? How do you plan to get famous without social media dum dum? No wonder he didn't even get a shot at my title this week, because nobody even likes him!
Gabi laughed, I wasn't sure if she thought I was ridiculous or if she just thought what I said was funny, but either way I'm glad I was able to make her laugh. But the fact of the matter is it's true, he isn't famous enough to step into the ring with me. It's like I'm the Yankees and he's the Brooklyn Cyclones, sure people know he's there but nobody really cares and damn sure nobody is really a fan. Suddenly Bates walked into the room as we turned our attention to him.
Bates: Ladies, lunch is ready if you're ready to eat.
Gabi and I both were starving and quickly headed out of the room and for the dining room, it was good to be home. But I had a plan for tomorrow, a way to really help me get in touch with my inner New Yorker and get into the mindset of Ace Stevens.
The Next Day: The Streets of New York, Mid Day.
I was completely out of my comfort zone. I was walking along the streets of New York City, and not even the good part of New York. This is disgusting, these people are disgusting. I was going to go alone, but Bates insisted on hiring a security guard to come with me, it's probably for the best honestly, I don't trust any of these nasty people around here. As I was walking, I took out my phone, opened instagram and started recording a live video, of course people started watching as soon as they got the notification I had went live, I mean obvi right?
Callie: Hello my fans and followers! I know I didn't mention I was gonna go live today, but I figured I may as well as long as I'm here. Now you're probably wondering where exactly I am and that's a good question, but it's a place I never plan to be again and that's the slums of New York. Of course you're wondering why I'm here, and that's because my opponent this week Ace Stevens is from here, and I was curious what exactly made him want to live here.
I held out the phone with my selfie stick, showing the camera the area all around me, the worst thing being a homeless man on the other side of the road, he better stay far away from me, I don't have any spare change to give him and even if I did it wouldn't be going to him.
Callie: He calls himself an American Hero...yet he's not on social media talking to his fans, if he even has any. he's not winning championships, he's too busy stealing from people! Some hero huh? Makes me think maybe I should be the one called the american hero, but then again the majority of the WZCW audience is just a bunch of haters who do nothing but hate hate hate on me!
I shook my head in disgust, it's true the hate I've gotten ever since I joined WZCW is just insane. People don't like when you do cheat to win, or beat their favorites so they get mad and insult you, so rude. If only I could fill every arena with my fans, at least then I'd get the reactions I deserve.
Callie: But enough about the haters, instead let's focus on Ace Stevens. He's been wrestling in WZCW off and on for like, 5 years. That's impressive right? WRONG! In that time the best he could do was win the Mayhem Championship, a title it doesn't even take skill to win! I've been here a couple months and I'm already the Elite Openweight Champion! But then again I'm not some low life criminal like Ace, I know the finer things in life and I expect the best, just like I tell you guys to.
I nodded, it's true I do tell my fans to expect the best in life and except nothing less, after all maybe one day they could be half as important as me if they take my advice.
Callie: I mean Ace thinks he's so tough because he can steal someone's wallet and beat people with a weapon and because he's comfortable in these streets, puh-lease! He's no real wrestler, I mean he doesn't even own wrestling gear! Is he that poor? Does he need his non-existent fans to start a gofund me page for him to raise the funds to buy him a pair of tights and some wrestling boots?
I laughed, as some of the people watching my stream agreed with that being funny, and others whined about that not being funny and how some people really don't have much money, but that's not my problem and I'm not here for sob stories.
Callie: I'm gonna give him a free lesson in how to become a better wrestler this week in our match, and I'm gonna show him who the real american hero is.
I laughed, deep down I knew I was no hero, but I don't wanna be one either. But at least I know the truth about myself and don't claim to be something I'm not, but unlike Ace I'm not a liar and a thief. I might not be the nicest person in the world, I have my share of bad deeds, but at least I'm not a criminal. It's going to be a fight against Ace, but I don't think I'll have trouble out smarting him and proving once again why I am the Elite Openweight Champion, and the future longest reigning champ at that.
Callie: Before I sign off, I just wanted to let you guys know that Gabi is home and slowly recovering. We still don't know if she'll ever be able to wrestle again, but even if she can't you guys know I'm not going anywhere and I'll keep racking up the wins, and the championships too.
Callie: But we appreciate the support and the get well messages for Gabi, feel free to bug the heck out of her on her profile, she has nothing else to do.
I laughed, she wants to call me a big mouth? Fine then I tell the fans to bug her more than they usually do. Payback is a, well let's just say payback is a what some people refer to me as.
Callie: Anyway I have to head out of here, I have a flight to catch early tomorrow morning so I wanna go spend the last day in New York with Gabi. I expect you guys to be rooting for me on Ascension this week and if any of you are going to be there make sure you bring your big signs for me! Anyway thanks for tuning in, byeee!
I waved to the camera before turning off the live stream. It was my last day in New York and I needed to get the heck out of this ghetto of a neighborhood before someone tries to rob me. This is seriously like, the worst part of New York. No wonder Ace Stevens is from here.
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