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Discussion in 'WZCW Roleplay Board' started by Hyorinmaru, Jul 13, 2018.
RP Deadline is Tuesday July 24th at 11:59pm PST
**EXTENSIONS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST**
**Deadline Extended By 24 Hours**
Flex Fitness Industries in partnership with NBC Jive Present
The State of the Flex Address
King Mussel can be seen entering a massive conference room where he is greeted by the executive board of Flex Fitness Industries. He makes his way onto a stage where the hundreds of employees and loyal customers come into focus in a very crowded room. Behind him is his assistant Suzius Maximus who motions for the crowd to quiet down so the fitness freak can address the room.
Flex: Id like to thank you all for that very warm welcome in a time of such unbridled chaos. I know you all have many questions, and I have asked for this time to sort out any confusion. First and foremost Id like to address the obvious: and that is once again I am the sole CEO of Flex Fitness Industries.
Many eager employees and customers hands shoot into the air in hopes of being called on to deliver a question. The King has no intention of giving anyone that opportunity.
Flex: My sister Maria has gracefully stepped down from her position and will be taking a more
behind the scenes approach to the company. And while she couldnt be here today I want her to know that I am truly grateful for everything she accomplished in my absence and I will use her groundwork to make sure this company evolves more and more everyday. Which brings me to why I wanted everyone here at once.
The moniseur of muscle motions to Maximus who signals for a powerpoint presentation to begin playing on a widescreen behind Flex. As he begins to speak statistics on obesity, suicide rates, and poor health appear on the screen.
Flex: When I started Flex Fitness it was a way to not only help myself but help likeminded individuals who wanted to save themselves from a life of obesity, poor health, and toxic life-altering choices. And in the past few years I would say we as a whole have more than succeeded in that goal. But the keyword here is likeminded, and unfortunately there are those outside of this room that would disagree with the way we think. Now the country we live in has been dubbed so great because people of all different walks of life have been allowed to live the way they choose. But unfortunately those who have been given free will have still decided that high fructose corn syrup,tobacco, and reality television are healthy ways to spend their time. And as they continue procreate and raise their seed to follow their footsteps in their poor hygience and health I begin to realize that soon enough people like us will be outnumbered. I dont know about anyone of you, but I dont intend to live in a country where my values are overshadowed and underrepresented by people who cant take care of themselves let alone a nation. So my question is to all of you, and that includes the executive board behind me: are you prepared to be a part of something greater than just a company? Are you prepared to have a purpose far beyond losing calories and muscle tone? Because I realize that what were doing now isnt enough to make the world a better place. We have to mobilize into a fortified nation of our own if we want to survive a country that is too sensitive to address their own shortcomings.
The crowd seems to be a bit confused by what Flex is hinting at but are interested nonetheless.
Flex: I know some of you still may not understand gravity of the situation here so allow me to put it in simpler terms. Flex Fitness Industries is no longer a fitness chain. It is no longer a brand with infomercials on public access television. Flex Fitness is the precursor to a nation which will not be hindered by Social Justice Warriors who are too scared to deal with the truth, and that is a people we are failing, in education we are failing, our economy is failing, our life expectancy we are failing, and you want to know why? Because we are not on the proper diet necessary for success. But that will change, everyone in this room has seen the benefits of the Flex Mussel way of life. But now I ask that everyone here make a sacred oath to spread that message as far and wide as they can because right now you are witnessing the Birth of a Nation, and that nation is FlexAmerica!!!!
The employees and customers begin to cheer as Flexs plan begins to comes into the focus. The board of executives are still not sure what to make of Flexs statements but cautiously clap along with the crowd. Maximus smirks as Flex continues on.
Flex: It wont be easy but nothing worthwhile ever is. But with hardwork and dedication anything is possible, and nothing is a greater example of that the man standing before you today: King Mussel. You see as Im sure plenty of you know by now I once again vanquished another obstacle named Batti. It wasnt easy, it was a grueling war but the end result was never in doubt. My will, my reserve, and my determination was far greater than she ever realized. Despite being constantly underestimated, pegged to lose, and disrespected I once again proved I am the best damn thing WZCW has going for it. Its gotten to the point that management themselves can no longer overlook my status, hence why on the next Meltdown I will be competing in a fatal fourway match to determine who will be next contender for the World Heavyweight championship.
The crowd claps with adjulation at the thought of their boss and hero attainting the greatest prize in all of wrestling.
Flex: Some may be asking to themselves how a professional wrestling organization factors into the well-being of our country as a whole and that may be the easiest thing I answer today. WZCW is the backbone of all entertainment, and in a country that values whats trending and popular over anything else entertainment matters. Without WZCW I would have no heroes to look up to, no one to motivate me to become the healthiest man alive, and I know for a fact that when someone like Mikey Stormrage rolls his blob of a body down to the ring, some overweight infant believes they can continue to be complacent with their own mediocrity, and that simply cannot stand. When someone like Kagura crosses into our borders it makes our young children believe that we can trust all foreigners despite their intentions to harm us. When someone like Matt Tastic uses his platform to the promote junk food brought into this country by immigrants it only sets back the younger generation further. Im not only going after the WZCW World title for all my childhood aspirations, Im doing it to set a better example for our misguided youth. Do you want any of those three influencing your children?
The crowd vehemently yells no as the bodybuilder realizes hes getting them exactly where he wants them.
Flex: Now dont get me wrong, my opposition is very formidable. Stormrage, Tastic, and Kagura are all former World champions with many accolades to their names. But the simple fact is they are all been there done that options. Matt Tastic has done everything there is to do in this company but thats unfortunately his greatest downfall, my will to gain what I have never attained is simply stronger than whatever Super Saiyan garbage hes spouting to his keyboard warriors. Mikeys admirable attempt to stay out his shadow has allowed him to become champion, but its pretty clear he doesnt have what it takes to stay in the spotlight very long, and I would love to congratulate Kagura on her World title reign but by the time I finished taking a nap it was already over. The point Im trying to make here is that my opponents are the safe options of WZCW. But Im not in the business of playing it safe, Im here to take risks, Im here to create change by any means necessary. Ive had encounters with all three of these competitors separately and have beaten them, so the only way I can think to top myself is beating them all at once. Which I will do because I am the man who defies the odds, the man who achieves what so many others claim he will fail at, the man who does what so many others are scared to. At Metldown 152 I come that much closer to doing what I told myself I was going to do over a decade ago, and thats become WZCW World champion. But not just for myself, not just for those in this room, but for the better of our nation as a whole. Long Live FLEXAMERICA!!!!
The crowd erupts in applause as the King flexes and poses on stage. Maximus walks up to the confused board of executives watching everything go down.
Maximus: Ive got some contracts Im going to need you all to sign, King Mussel has decided to expand Flex Fitness operations into a more...political atmosphere.
Matt: Its been days since the big win at Kingdom Come IX
Matt: It felt like we were on top of the world. We had the best entrance ever, the win and finally we had our confidence back. All seems perfect right now. So we took a step forward.
Matt: We defined a generation. Now we want to shape the next generation. But that doesnt mean our time is up. No. Our time is just starting. Live Mas is back. And stronger than ever. Nothing will ever come between us. Nothing will break this bond between best friends.
.well fuck. Shit, I had this plan to tape some wacky hijinks at our new school. But I cant have Mikey featured on this piece. It might help him win. But I wanna win. Dammit. Now what?
A phone rings
.. *ring ring ring* *ring ring ring*
Days later, we finally see something. Its Matt Tastic sitting on an interview set with Stacey Madison. The two speak as things get set to start recording.
Stacey: So is it true?
Matt: Whats true?
Stacey: You and [REDACTED]?
Matt: Yeah. Were opening a school.
Stacey: No, thats not what I meant. I meant if youre--
Assistant: OK, were ready. Everyone set.
Stacey gets interrupted and the two sit down ready to start things.
Stacey: Ladies and gentlemen, I am here with one half of Live Mas! Matt Tastic. Of course, were getting set for our first show since Kingdom Come but big news has come out of your front since your big win. You and [REDACTED] have announced the opening of a wrestling school.
Matt: Yeah, me and [REDACTED] kinda talked about it on car rides before Kingdom Come but now after our big win, we asked ourselves what was next. Weve won titles, were both Hall of Famers now. I kinda feel we can start passing along what weve learned.
Stacey: From our article on WZCW.com, it seems you guys already have everything set with a location and a staff. Care to explain on that?
Matt: Heh. Staff. But seriously though. Theres a ton of empty school in the island but we went with a warehouse. There is a school nearby and were hoping with can turn them into dorms. We call the school Kick Ass Academia. We tried My Wrestler Academia but I got shot down. Too on the nose, I guess. But we got this warehouse and got it all set.
We dry cut to Matt & [REDACTED] in said warehouse. Barren and empty. The two stand dead in the middle examining what to do.
Matt: I think we can put the pool up there in the third floor. And the capucchino machine right over there in the corner.
[REDACTED]: I thought you hated coffee. Also whats a pool doing so high up? But more to the point, shouldnt we fix this place up to teach wrestling? What do you want with those things anyway?
Matt: Theyre classy, [REDACTED]. We want to be seen as a legit training school.
[REDACTED]: Then put a break room with a coffee maker. Easy as that.
Matt: Yeah, were putting all our priorities on getting everything set for our first class. We will keep you posted on how things go.
Stacey: Right. But after all this work together you and [REDACTED], your school, your big win together. Now at Meltdown, you both have to face each other also Flex Mussel & Kagura. The winner, singular, will challenge Tyrone Blades at R-Awakening.
Matt: Well first, whos the idiot who came up with that name for a show anyway? D-Reckoning wouldve been more clever. But as for this match, you know, it kinda sucks. I do all this work with [REDACTED], charity, working tag matches, Kingdom Come and now were opponents. Its ironic in a sense. At first, I wanted to face [REDACTED] at Kingdom Come before all the stuff with Keaton and Triple X happened. But that feud has brought us closer than ever.
As Matt says that, Staceys eyes widen as she stares at Matt. She wonders. Matt notices this too.
We have another dry cut to Matt and [REDACTED]. Theyve installed their pool on the inexistent third floor.
Matt: Dude, were too close. Nope, this aint gonna work. This pool is too small.
[REDACTED]: Go figure. We cant have a pool on the rafters.
Matt: OK. Never mind this then.
[REDACTED]: Hey, you think people think were too close to each other?
Matt: I dont really think of that. I mean, you hear Flex was actually cryogenically frozen the past year. Do you think its true? Of course not. You hear Kagura is engaged to this dude who works cross-country. Do you believe it?
[REDACTED]: But we were in Spain and Japan last month.
Matt: I know!!
Matt: Stacey, our relationship is extremely platonic. I am a very heterosexual man.
Stacey: Right. Right.
Matt: I have a hard time controlling my manliness ne-
Stacey: Dont finish that sentence. Go back to the match coming up. Kagura. King Mussel and [REDACTED]. Are you prepared? Were you able to stay in shape despite working on this school?
Matt: Oh, absolutely. It was a great workout. I mean, Flex
King? Mussel? Whatever. Flex runs an entire company of stero--
Stacey: NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS!
..right. He runs this entire company. But still has time to be completely buff to the point that he couldnt scratch his ass if he tried. And given the way that man acts and looks, I bet he feels A LOT of itching. I feel more motivated than ever. I feel the love from the fans. I feel completely focused. No anger issues, whatsoever. The days of me ranting and raving about flakes in this company, being owed title shots, those are all over. I am looking forward and strictly forward now. I want more and more success and I can only do that if I keep my anger in check.
We have another dry cut to Matt and [REDACTED] working at the warehouse to turn it into their wrestling school. Matt throws the pool, revealing it to be inflatable. The location seems mostly fixed up now with the exception of all the water hitting the floor. Theres still no rings though. Matt throws leftover details over the pool.
Matt: Goddammit!! I wanted a pool! I wanted a place to relax after training!
[REDACTED]: Then put it elsewhere! Try your backyard! Not the damn school!
Matt: But before I forget, I want to talk about Kagura. In a way, I kinda feel shes gotten the short end of the stick in a way. She works her way up, wins King for a Day, wins the World title but because of timing she loses it right away at Lethal Lottery and the closes thing to a rematch she can get is this match. If I were the one in charge of this company, I wouldve gotten her a better opportunity. But Im not in charge of this company.
Stacey: Are you sure you wouldnt book yourself into #1 Contenders matches?
Matt: Dont be silly, Stacey. I would, but only within reason. I won at Kingdom Come with [REDACTED]. Flex Mussel won at Kingdom Come. And Kagura-
Stacey: Well, Kagura lost.
Matt: Yeah. But she was never given a rematch. Instead, she was placed with a guy who comes in and out of this company more times than Remix and Prophet.
Matt: Nevermind. Listen, this is a big match. I may seem like Im taking it lightly, but Im not. I just remembered what its like to have fun here. I am having fun. [REDACTED] is having fun. But Flex, that son of a bitch ruins the fun for other people. He may have ended Battis career. Why? Jealousy? Selfishness? Who knows. All I know is hes a shit and doesnt deserve to win. I dont know about [REDACTED] but I will do anything to keep him from winning and if I get to pin him, that would be great. I get to avenge my loss at Kingdom Come 8. As for Kagura, if it were up to me, I wouldve let her go through. But thats not the case. We have to face each other to earn this golden opportunity. And I dont feel like losing. I have not been a World Champion in three years. People have caught up to me. Tyrone Blades is a 3 time World Champion. Callie Clark is a 3 time Elite Champion. I may be a Hall Of Famer, I may be one of the best, but I want to be the very best. Like no one every was or ever will be and to do that, I have to win this match and doing so will send a message to my students. This is the place to be.
Stacey: And if [REDACTED] wins? You seem very determined. But at the same time, this match pits you against your best friend as soon as you two worked out all your differences. Aren't you worried about him getting hurt, like with Triple X and the steel chair? Can you keep your eye on the prize?
Matt: If he wins, hell sleep in the sofa for a month. He's a grown man and I highly doubt someone is going to sneak in and bash one of us in the face with a chair without us noticing. Flex could try it, but I kinda doubt he can bend his arms to hit anyone properly. And I sincerely doubt Kagura would do it because she's just not that kind of person. You don't have to worry about our friendship. Right now, that's not important. This match is whats important. Winning is what's important. The four of us were granted a big opportunity. And it's within our right to take it and do what we feel is necessary to win it. Flex will no doubt take it. Kagura should take it. I will take it and I'm sure Mikey Stormrage will take it. Is that it? Thank you, Stacey but I am a very busy man. I have business to attend to.
Stacey: No. Thank you very much for your time, Matt. The Kick Ass Academia is open, ladies and gentlemen. Enrollment is still available.
Matt: Yup. Come learn under me. I will help you unlock your Ultra Instinct. And I guess [REDACTED] is there too.
Another dry cut to the warehouse. The work is complete. Matt looks at the handy-work done. Behind him Granpa arrives and pats Matt in the back with his magic cane.
.. Good work boys. But where's--
Matt: He left to do some stuff once we finished here. Looks snazzy, right? Rings, gym set, lockers. I can't believe we managed ourselves but yeah, its done.
Granpa: You did not do this yourselves.
...OK, so we had help. Feels good. We can work together. But we also have our separate things to do.
Granpa: So what's next?
Matt: I don't know. Wait for enrollment. But one thing doesn't change. I'm gonna go Deliver Kickassery.
The boxes were all packed away, everything put in the proper place. I had made sure to buy a real bed, not just some cot or mattress pushed into the corner. There was plenty of natural light that was able to make its way into the room if I needed. I had taken the old trophy case that used to be in my living room and had it moved to the school. In it's place, in this apartment, sat only a small glass box on a shelf. Inside, the WZCW Hall of Fame ring I had been given over Kingdom Come weekend. A symbol of my dedication and passion to this business, this company. It was also a reflection of my level of skill, my accolades, and popularity. When you mention the men whose backs this company was built on, you thing Titus and Everest. Tyrone and Showtime. When you mention those names, now, you would have to mention mine. This ring, it was proof that I belonged.
"Everest, Titus, Showtime, Big Dave, Ty Bruna, Steamboat Ricky, Big Will, Vengeance, Matt Tastic, Constantine, Steven Holmes......Mikey Stormrage."
The name still felt out of place. Maybe it was simply my own self esteem issues and insecurity, but my name stood out.
I looked around the apartment. It was strange, unfamiliar, and new, but it was home. For the first time in years, I actually felt at home when I stepped through the door. I never would have imagined in a thousand years that I'd feel at home on an island nearly two thousand miles away from my birth home.
I opened the case and picked up the ring and slipped it on my finger and admired it. I knew that there was no bigger honor than this, but that my career was far from over. I knew I could still complete the Grand Slam. I could tie the record held my Tyrone and Showtime for World Title reigns. I could jump into the Mayhem division and compete, I was undefeated in Mayhem matches. I knew there were many paths my career could take, but I was happy with where it currently was, with a man I considered my own brother.
A buzzing sound from the nearby table got my attention. I looked over and saw my phone had a text message.
Where are you? You were supposed to be here twenty minutes ago
It was Matt. I looked at the time, it was almost one thirty and I told Matt I would be down at the school at one.
On the way
I took the ring off and put it back on display. I grabbed my keys and made my way to the school. I hopped in my car. My car had also been upgraded since I moved. Before, I drove around in the same Toyota Rav 4 that I had owned since I started in WZCW. I knew I needed something little more room and something better equipped to handle moving around Grandpa Tastic's property. I made sure to buy a new car and have it shipped to Puerto Rico when I stopped in the States for a few days after our Kingdom Come victory.
I had never been one to spend big on luxury items, but I went all on on this one, dropping almost two hundred and fifty thousand on a brand new Mercedes G-Glass AMG G 65 SUV.
I unlocked the car and climbed inside. After picking some music, I made the fifteen minute drive to the school. Grandpa offered me a room in their house, but I wanted to be a bit closer to the school. It would be a welcome distraction at times.
After the short drive I arrived at the school and saw some of the potential students waiting outside. Matt and I had already gone through some initial selections, but we were having a second, smaller group in today. This was the first time I had been inside the school since the renovations were finished. I was amazed. Right when you entered the doorway, there hung the four different World Titles that Matt and I had won in our careers. The rest of the building was furnished with brand new gym equipment on one side. I walked around and saw the three full size rings, one specially equipped with extra padding for high risk moves. The cafeteria had yet to be fully stocked, but a couple of plates of high protein food were there for the students today. The promo room was ready to go, and the foam pit would be filled later today. I saw Matt at a desk going over some paperwork. I waved and made my way to him, admiring the other title belts we had won that were on display, as well as banners and photos from iconic moments in our career.
"About time you got here."
"Sorry man, I got caught up unpacking."
Matt rolled his eyes and pulled a chair out for me. He handed me a bottled water and a few applications.
"You being late on the first day really sets a great example for the students."
"I mean, it absolutely does. When have either of us ever made sure to be on time?"
I took a quick drink before I began to look through the applications. Most of the best prospects had already gone through tryouts, though we still wanted to run a few more through the process.
"Anyone in particular stand out?"
"Most of the guys outside couldn't even finish the mile jog I lead them on before you got here."
"I probably couldn't do that either."
"Most people don't have the heart you have either."
I nodded my head as I looked over another application.
"There are two names here that stand out to me. The first is Pablo Ayala."
Matt handed me his application and I quickly scanned it.
"Wasn't this guy at the first tryout?"
"Yeah. He really stood out to me as the best guy available. Super quick, throws fast strikes. He has a little bit of formal training, but nothing that would get him very far."
"Wait, is he the guy in the mask? Something about a fox?"
"Zorro Volador. The Flying Fox. Yeah, same guy."
"Okay, yeah. He hit that sweet shooting star in the try out match."
"Yeah, he has had about fifteen backyard matches, but most of the local companies won't book him due to his size."
"Five foot five. One sixty two. I'm pretty sure my leg is bigger than he is."
"That's why he put on the mask, to try to get noticed. It is going to be an uphill battle, but this guy needs to be here."
"Let's do it then."
We put the application in a folder and sat it aside.
"What else do we got?"
Matt handed me another application.
"This guy, he is a real prick. He has gotten on everyone's nerves since he showed up today, but look at the guy. Six six, two eighty. The guy is a brick shit house."
"I could take him."
"He also has a lot of experience. I checked his history, and the titles he listed as winning are all true. I looked more into it, he has legit experience all over the Caribbean. Everyone he has worked with says he is an asshole though."
"I could still take him."
"Again, this is going to be difficult, but the guy has crazy size and more experience than most of the hopefuls combined."
"If you say we can do it, then I trust you amigo."
I looked over the application before putting in in the accepted folder.
"Osvaldo Rivera.....blah blah blah....wait! The guy has a tribal tattoo. Do we have to accept him?"
"You have half your arms and one leg covered in tattoos!"
"None of them are tribal tattoos."
"Just put it in the folder."
I placed the application in the folder and stretched a bit. I stood to try to stretch my knee out, when I grabbed the folder and hit Matt across the back like it was a steel chair.
"The crowd is shocked! Mikey Stormrage has just hit Matt Tastic with a steel chair!"
Matt swatted the folder away as I tried to hit him again.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"I haven't been able to get over our upcoming match. We haven't faced off as opponents in over two years. Do you think you are going to be able to fight your best friend?"
The entire time I danced around Matt, shadow boxing. Matt grabbed my arm and pulled me back to my seat.
"I've been thinking about it a little. I have an interview with Stacey once we get to Cleveland, so I wanna make sure I say the right stuff. For now I'm just hoping the elements of Flex and Kagura will make sure we don't have to tear each other apart. You beat my ass last time we faced off."
"I'd do it again too. I'd beat up Grandpa if it meant I got a shot at another World Title."
"Grandpa would kick your ass."
I nodded my head to agree with him.
"You're right. He would probably pull out that cane and beat me with it. He even beat me in Mortal Kombat the other day."
"Did he pick Liu Kang again?"
"Yeah and he just spams the Bicycle Kick over and over. Those weird squeals he does when he kicks you have haunted my dreams."
"If it came down to it though, could you do it?"
"I love you Matt, more than most things in this world, but if the only thing that stood between me and another World Title shot, well you better step aside or get run over."
"I wouldn't have it any other way."
Matt reached out for a fist bump, but I grabbed his arm and pulled him into a seated hug. Matt kicked my chair from under me and ended up on top of me.
"I told you at the Hall of Fame ceremony, no more bear moves. Now take this fist you bitch."
"Excuse me? Am I late? I was hear for the tryouts."
A female voice broke up our horseplay, and we both shot up and back into our seats.
"Yeah, sorry. We have already...."
I put my hand over Matt's mouth.
"No, not at all. I got here late today, so I made the decision to extend the tryout window."
"Great! Do you mind if I go change into my work out gear?"
"Go ahead. Locker room is over that way."
I pointed and as she walked away, Matt pulled my head in close.
"You just said that because she is a girl."
"Mikey, we have been over this. I care about you and I can accept and look past a lot of your flaws. Honestly they help make you, you. That said, if you pursue this girl, one of two things is going to happen."
"I get great sex and we fall madly in love together and we live happily every after?"
"No. You have wildly disappointing sex with her, or you fall for her and because you are....well....you, she is repulsed and breaks your heart."
I sort of slumped my shoulders and looked at the floor, because as much as I wish he hadn't been, Matt was right.
The girl came back, ready to try out. She handed me her application and I finally got a good view of her. She was beautiful.
"Thanks for letting me do this. I'm Katherine King, and this has been something I've dreamed about since high school. Without sounding like a fan girl, I am a huge fan of you two."
Matt smiled at her as I looked over the rest of her application.
"So you are a big WZCW fan huh?"
"Oh absolutely. I follow a couple of smaller companies, but WZCW is home to the best of the best."
"So other than us, who else do you root for?"
"Well I used to root for Eve Taylor. I was so into her being an alternative icon and fighting for equality. Lately she has been kind of a bitch though. Oh and Tyrone! I had his poster above my bed when he was still Ty Burna, but since he shed the dark and kinda paranormal persona, man he has turned into a real hunk."
I felt my heart sink. I knew nothing about this girl, aside from her name and her interest in tattoos, but I felt a weird attraction to her. Yeah, she was gorgeous, but it felt like something more than the bullshit skin deep attractions I felt to the majority of the women who had passed through my life. I tried to change the subject running through my head.
"So forgive me, but you don't look like the rest of the guys. You look...well...."
"Well, yeah. Sorry, I didn't know how to word that, but you and I are the only white people here today."
"I'm from here, but yeah, I'm white. My dad was in the Army and my mom was a nurse doing volunteer work in San Juan. They met and fell in love and decided to stay here when my dad got out. I lived in Florida for four years for college, but the rest of my life has been spent here."
So she came from a fairly well off family and was educated? I knew I had no chance.
"Well you certainly have an interesting backstory. Let's see what you can do in the ring. Go ahead and stretch and get warmed up over by the ring with the red skirt. I'll grab a few mats and get you started."
Despite Matt getting up and Katherine walking past, my mind was stuck on my romantic failures. The depression was setting in for the first time in ages. I panicked. I grabbed my phone and headed to my car. I sent Matt a text, before punching in an address in my GPS and speeding off. I just needed to make one quick stop.
About an hour later, I arrived at a secluded beach. I grabbed the bag I had picked up and walked and sat on the sand. I kicked off my sandals and put my feet in the water. I checked my phone.
Are you sure you can handle this? Katherine was impressive. Very raw, but the potential is there. She would be a great addition, but I won't say yes without your approval
I thought before I text Matt back.
You are the real star here. You are the legend. All she did was remind me that I'm just the fat loser
Matt sent his response back instantly. He had dealt with this before.
Just be safe out there okay
I debated texting back, but instead shut my phone off and slipped it back inside my pocket. I grabbed the bag and pulled out the glass bottle.
"I'll get through this, I just need some help from Johnnie Walker."
I opened the bottle and took a long drink. I then removed my shirt and made a makeshift pillow. I laid my head back and closed my eyes, ready to just forget the world.
Kagura stared at the engagement ring on her finger. The lights from the city glistened off the diamond in the center. She couldnt form the words to express how happy she felt. Even suffering a loss on the biggest card of the year couldnt dampen her joy. There would be another Kingdom Come next year. However, an engagement, a marriage proposal. There were people out there that would never get to experience this.
She looked out the window, watching as the taxi zipped by all the other cars. She stole a glance at Derrick, who had dozed off beside her. She laughed internally, she was the one that had just wrestled a grueling match against Garth Black. By all logic, she should have been the one asleep; not him. She figured the last couple of weeks had to have been hard on him too. Working non-stop on projects. Constantly traveling. Sleeping in cheap motels along the way. But he loved what he was doing. And thats what mattered.
Kagura shifted her body, and rested her head against his shoulder, as he rested his against the window. She smiled. This warmth. This fondness and tenderness that she had missed, because she hadnt been ready to surrender it. He had been her security blanket. Her rock. Her refuge when times were tough. Garth Black got under her skin, and made her doubt herself. She had no one else to blame for that loss but herself. Derricks visit was temporary, and then hed be heading back to Japan. As she laid on the mat in a daze, listening to her opponents music as it championed his victory, she asked herself, Do I really want to become a punching bag like this? After I worked so hard to get to the top? The answer was obvious.
The difficult part would be convincing herself to finally let her fiancé go. And it wouldnt be temporary this time. It could be months before shed get to see him again. And that was the tough part about the wrestling business. Not many wrestlers were fortunate enough to have their loved ones travelling with them. She had heard many stories of grapplers getting divorced due to the travel alienating their spouses. Its lonely on the road, and theres temptation everywhere. Kagura had seen adultery and debauchery in both the male and female locker rooms.
And when those marriages ended, it created a broken home for their children too. The generation of wrestlers before her had it bad, as veterans like Jack Cohen could attest to. Nothing in this world could cut a wrestler deeper them the thoughts of children calling another person dad or mom. Kagura was glad that she wasnt one of those poor people, denizens of the wrestling kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lost and forgotten. A shame existence to those that knew them, despite their fantastic successes. Derrick had shielded her from that fate, because he had always been around.
Right before last years Gold Rush, she became addicted to painkillers, and nearly died in a New York City alleyway. Surely, shed be dead right now if he hadnt of found her. For a long time Kagura considered herself to be a weak and incompetent woman, who couldnt do anything by herself. But then she realized that Derrick didnt knock out all the other competitors, and help her become Queen for a Day. He wasnt the one that knocked out Constantine right before she cashed in and became the first womens world champion in WZCW history. No; he was her support. Her cheerleader. Her guidance counselor. And her voice, when she needed one.
It wasnt going to be easy, but Kagura knew that she had to learn to survive without his help. It was selfish to keep asking him to stay by her side. But now, he had given her something that would ensure that a piece of himself would never leave. She stared at the engagement ring once more. This was a promise of commitment. It wasnt quite as powerful as wedding ring, but it was the sentiment that counted. So no matter where she went, hed be there in spirit. Whenever someone like Garth Black tried to cut her down, tried to tell her that she was worthless, and that no one cared about her, that ring would serve as a representation of his love. And that was all she needed; just a reminder that someone, somewhere out there, really did care about her.
It was dusk. Kagura stood, perched on top of a hill, overlooking the cityscape of Cleveland. As she gazed down, she could see the lights of the many buildings and skyscrapers lighting up the night. She was dressed in her ceremonial miko outfit. In her left hand, she welded a katana. It was a blade that her grandfather sometimes used for purification rituals. Tonight, it would be used as a declaration of war. She held the sheathed bladed in front of her in her left hand, before slowly drawing the sword with her right. She held the sword out in front of her horizontally, and parallel to the ground. There was loud croak, as two ravens flew over her head, and into the sky, as the last rays of the sun slipped beneath the hills.
Kingu damu ni watashi no sōshitsu ga watashi ni nanika o akiraka ni shita. Watashi ga shō o oikakete iru toki, watashi wa saikō no shigoto o shimasu. Sono kekka, watashi wa shibashiba misugosa remasu. Shibashiba kashō hyōka sa reru. Soshite watashi wa sore de daijōbudesu. 3-Nen watashi wa WZCW no tame ni torikunde kimashita. Watashi wa moto erītoōpun'u~eitochanpiondesu. Gen no joō. Soshite, moto sekai chanpion. Soredemo, watashi no kyōgō tasha no ōku wa mada watashi ni nani o tsukuru no ka wakaranai
My loss at Kingdom Come revealed something to me. I do my best work when Im chasing the prize. As a result, Im often overlooked. Often underestimated. And Im fine with that. Three years Ive been wrestling for WZCW. Im a former Elite Openweight Champion. A former Queen for a Day. And, a former World Champion. And yet, many of my competitors still dont know what to make of me.
She raised the sword over her head, and struck a pose, before swinging it forward.
Watashi to tatakatta koto no nai hito wa, watashi ga amarini mo shizukade shinpi-tekida to iu kamo shiremasen. Soshite, karera wa watashi no bunka o rikai shite inai. Watashi wa amarini mo eregantode senren sa rete iru to iu hito mo imasu. Hokanohito ga watashi o kimyōna, matawa ofupattingu o mitsukeru kamo shiremasen. Watashitoisshoni ringu ni ita hito wa, nani ka iitai koto ga arimasu. Gankona. Eizoku-teki. Kanja. Kikaishugi-teki. Korera no kotoba ga ichiban dete kuru yōdesu. Watashi to nanika o oikakete iru toki ni watashi ga dekiru koto wa, dorehodo kiken'na no ka rikai shite imasu."
Those that have never fought me might say that Im too quiet and mysterious. And, that they dont understand my culture. Some might say that Im way too elegant and refined. Others may find me weird, or even off-putting. Those that have been in the ring with me, have something else to say. Tenacious. Persistent. Patient. Opportunistic. Those words seem to come up the most. Those that have traded blows with me the most, understand just how dangerous I can be when Im chasing something.
Kagura brought the katana to her chest with her right arm, and struck a defensive pose. She lifted the sheath in her left arm into the air. Silently, she began to pray to the kami. She was going to summon all of her negativity here tonight, and blast it all away in one shot!
Kagura lifted the sword was an images of Mikey Stormrage and Matt Tastic appeared before her. She stepped forward and sliced through the image of the newly minted Hall of Famer, before turning on her heel and cutting down the image of the former world champion. Her eyes flashed with blazing fury.
"Saigo ni nani o shita nodesu ka? Anata no nōryoku o haruka ni shitamawatte ita chīmu o taosu koto o nozokeba, nani mo arimasen. Raibu masu wa noberuti ni natte imasu. Soshite, watashi wa anata ga 2tsu wa ima sore o jitsugen shite iru to kakushin shite imasu. Shikashi, anata ga 2-ri iru node, Tyrone Blades wa anata o ryōhō-tomo ikite imasu. Sono otoko wa ima, kare no kyaria no pīku ni imasu. Shikashi, watashi ga kono saikuru o shita koto o omoidasa sete kudasai. MD 150 de, watashi wa burēdo o kotei shimashita. Kingu damu kamu ni tsunagaru yuiitsu no kizudatta nodesu. Wareware wa sorezore 1tsu no shōri o ima motte iru, watashi wa 1tsu no tame ni sekai taitoru no taiburēkā to tatakau tame ni kōei ni omoudarou."
What did either one of you do last cycle that was of note? Aside from defeating teams that were all well below your abilities, nothing. Live Mas has become a novelty act. And Im sure you two have realized that now. But as you two are right now, Tyrone Blades would eat you both alive. That man is at the peak of his career right now. But let me remind you what I did this cycle. At MD 150, I pinned Blades. Its was the only blemish on his record leading up to Kingdom Come. We each have one victory apiece now, and I for one would be honored to fight the tiebreaker over the world title.
Kagura clenched her teeth as the images of Live Mas re-spawn in front of her. With a shriek that cracked the sky, piercing the warm night air, she rushed forward and began hacking the images to bits like a madwoman. Once done, she let the sword fall to her side breathing heavily.
"Jissai ni watashi wa korera no 2tsu ni tsuite fuman o kanjite imasu. Dochira mo watashi o shinken'na kyōsō aite to minasu koto wa dekimasen. Karera ni wa, watashi wa furaidesu. Fubendesu. Jibun jishin no yōna moto sekai chanpionde wa arimasen. Watashi ga toppu ni tassuru no wa kantandatta. Watashi wa tsuitachi no tame ni joō ni katsu tame ni kanzen'na jigoku o tsūka shinakatta nodesu. Kore wa chimei-tekina 4 u~eide wa naku, mushiro raibu masu to no matchi de# 1 no kōho o kettei shimasu. Soshite soreha tada okotte shimau dakedesu! Fain, watashi o kashōhyōkasuru. Watashi ga kanojo no te o agete iru toki, shiai no saigo ni shitsubō shinaide kudasai."
What really makes me feel frustrated about these two, is that I can tell that neither one see me as a serious competitor. To them, Im a fly. An inconvenience. Not a former world champion like themselves. Like it was any easier for me to reach the top. Like I didnt go through complete hell to win Queen for a Day. This isnt a Fatal Four-way, but rather a match between Live Mas to determine the #1 contender. And that just makes so angry! Fine, underestimate me. Just dont be disappointed at the end of the match when Im the one getting her hand raised.
Having caught her breath, she struck another defensive pose. There was more competitor in the match. An image of Flex Mussel appeared in from of her. Kagura darted forward and cut through it, the apparition exploding into tiny fragments of light.
On the hill, Kagura was about to lower her sword, when the apparition of Flex appeared once more. He held a chair in his hands, and was rushing her from behind! She turned, and cut him in half from the bottom up. This time, the image disappeared for good.
"Watashi wa Batti ga yatta machigai o suru tsumori wanai, Flex. Anata wa yosoku fukanōde bōryoku-tekidesu. Shikashi, watashi wa itsumo anata o nagutte kimashita. Soshite konkai mo kawarimasen. Anata no henken to sabetsu wa watashiniha nani mo imi shimasen. Watashi no kōdō no kage wa tsuneni anata no ue o orinasu tame, anata no shisen kara taiyō o kanzen ni saegitte imasu. Anata no hada wa kōtte shimai, anata wa anata no kotoba o chissoku sa semasu. Watashi wa anata yori mo sugurete iru, Flex. # 1 No kōho ni naru to."
Im not going to make the mistakes that Batti did, Flex. Youre unpredictable and violent. However, Ive always beaten you when it counts. And this time will be no different. Your bigotry and your discrimination means nothing to me. The shadow of my actions is always going to loom over you, completely blocking the sun from your gaze. Your skin with become frozen, and youll choke on your words. Im better than you, Flex. And when I become #1 contender, youll realize that.
Kagura was about to sheath the sword, when one more apparition appeared in front of her. It was Eve Taylor. The image of the former world champion was not hostile. As Kagura approached her, the imagine started to wail. Kagura swung her sword, cutting through the images neck. The spirit disappeared.
"Watashi wa anata o urayamashikunai, ibu. Anata wa yoi tatakai ni tatakai, anata wa ushinatta. Shikashi, anata wa sono katei de subete o gisei ni shimashita. Anata no yūjin. Anata no hokori anata no songen anata ga chimei-tekina takarakuji de taitoru o kakutoku shita toki, watashi wa ureshikattadesu. Anata wa watashi ga ryokō shitakunai michidatta. Ōku no hito ga watashi ga taitoru o kakutoku shita yarikata de watashi o kizutsukete itanode, watashi wa futatabi sono akuma ni narazu ni sono yama ni nokotte ita ka dō ka kakushin ga motemasendeshita. Shikashi, watashi ga futatabi toppu ni tassuru to, watashi wa jibun no yarikata de yaru tsumoridesu. Watashitachi ga sore izen ni atta baai, matawa sonogo ni, watashi wa anata o tadashiku nagurudeshou. Watashi wa AS 91 de anata ga watashi ni ataeta sonshitsu kara anata ni karite imasu. Sore made wa, watashi o mattekudasai."
I dont envy you, Eve. You fight the good fight, and you lost. But you sacrificed everything in the process. Your friends. Your pride. Your dignity. I was glad when you won the title at Lethal Lottery. Yours was a road that I didnt want to travel down. So many were souring on me over the way I won the title, I wasnt sure if I could have remained on that mountain without becoming a demon again. But, when I reach the top again, Im going to do things my way. And if we meet before then, or afterwards, Ill beat you properly. I still owe you from the loss you gave me at AS 91. Until then, just wait for me.
Kagura sheathed the sword and held it by her side. Sitting up here talking to herself, performing purification rituals on herself, was a great way to clear her mind. However, with Derrick gone, she needed a new guide. One that preferably knew how to speak English, and knew how to sell her. There was still much about western culture that she still didnt quite grasp, even if the language wasnt completely alien anymore. Fortunately, she did know one person who might be up for the job.
At the Quicken Loans arena, the interviewer had been speaking to a sharply dressed man in a black suit and red tie. He had short black hair, and looked to be well built. He was older; perhaps in his late 40s. He spoke about Kagura like he knew her, and was giving his commentary on the upcoming Fatal Four-way match at MD 152.
I can run down Kaguras workout routine, her meditation schedule, and how shes prepared for this match, but it doesnt matter. Kagura wrestles because she enjoys it, and unlike the other three gentlemen in the match, she has clearly displayed a will and a drive to win that they havent. And lets not forget that shes the former-former world champion, who never got her rematch. This is her rematch. Hardly seems fair if you ask me, but shes not going to complain about it. She didnt complain when she had to defend the title at the Lethal Lottery in a triple threat either. Shes loves the challenge. She welcomes it
The man turned, hearing footsteps behind him. The interviewers eyes widen as Kagura walked up beside him. She turned and shot the man a smile.
"Anata wa kamera no ai o ushinatte inai to omou, Sasuke sensei."
I see you havent lost your love for the camera, Sasuke-sensei.
The man returned the smile, "You want to finish this?"
Kagura grinned at the interviewer and said, "Kare wa subete o itta to kakushin shite imasuga, watashi wa kōhō o mite imasu. MD 152 de, watashi wa kachi,# 1 no kōho ni naru tsumoridesu. Soshite, watashi wa futatabi yama no chōjō de watashi no basho o torimodosudeshou."
"I'm sure he's said everything, but I'm done looking backwards. At MD 152, I'm going to win and become #1 contender. And then I'll reclaim my spot at the top of the mountain once again."