Monday October 23rd– The New Sportatorium – Dallas, Texas
The sun blazed down on a warm Monday morning, its rays reflecting off the windows of The New Sportatorium, the training facility for Texas Championship Wrestling run by Charlie Blackwell.
Adam Ellis stood in front of the entrance, his heart pounding with a mix of anticipation and nervousness as he wiped sweat from his brow. Last Friday night, he wrestled Eddie Cross at PRIME’s ReVival 37 show in Louisville in what many thought was a well-wrestled technical match by both Ellis and Cross. But once again, Adam came up on the wrong end of the one-two-three and he appeared a little nervous and apprehensive about going inside to face the music with Charlie.
Finally, Adam took a deep breath and pushed open the door, stepping into the cool air-conditioned interior.
“Ellis,” barked a voice, stern and no-nonsense as the man it belonged to- Charlie Blackwell standing by the ring, arms crossed, his disapproving gaze locked onto the young wrestler.
“Sorry, Charlie,” Adam mumbled, trying to hide his unease. He knew what was coming next, and he wasn’t looking forward to it.
“You’re late. Hurry up and get dressed” Charlie barked at him. “We’ve got much work to do.”
Adam hurried to the dressing room and came back out ten minutes, dressed and ready to work.
“All right, let’s cut to the chase.” Charlie eyed Adam like a predator closing in on its prey. “I know I’ve said this to you before and I will say it to you again. Adam, there’s too much stuff going on around you and it’s taking away from what you should be focused on.”
“What do you mean?” Adam replied.
“Your wife, Ginny. Setting off buck bombs, shooting down an inflatable with a shotgun inside an arena, getting into pissing matches with other wrestlers.”
“Now wait a minute,” Adam interjected to defend his wife. “We’re a team and she’s my wrestling manager and she’s just trying to stick up for me.”
“Most wrestling managers don’t fire buckshot at a security detail,” Charlie pointed out. “Nor do wrestling managers set off buck bombs in people’s vehicles either.”
“But Lee’s goons jumped me and attacked-“
“You shouldn’t have been in Tampa in the first place.”
“No.” Charlie cut him right off. “You had a big match with Eddie Cross and there was no reason for you to go to Tampa when it was obvious to everyone but you it was a setup.” Charlie pointed his finger at Adam. “I told you NOT to go. But did you listen to me? No. You walked right into the trap Lee set for you and got your ass kicked… just like when I told you last year not to take the bait when Lee goaded you into a match with Great Scott for the fucking HOTv title belt… whatever the fuck that is. Just like you did last year, you let your emotions get the better of you and walked right into a HOW arena and let Lee’s EPU goons beat your head in. Don’t you get it, Adam? The second you signed with PRIME, you won. You WON. You got the contract you wanted. You beat Lee Best because he didn’t have the foresight to sign you before Lindsay Troy did. You should have just kept your mouth shut and focused on what goes you inside the ropes instead of letting Lee get into your head like that. And now, he’s using John Sektor to get to you as well.”
“Sektor?” Adam asked.
“Oh come on,” Charlie sputtered. “Lee Best knows he can use Sektor as a weapon against you. What better way to humiliate you on his fucking pay-per-view show by having the man who took you under his wing deliver the final hammer blow. Sektor’s a means to an end. Lee’s going to leverage the hell out of that because that keeps Sektor engaged. Once Sektor takes care of you and he begins to disengage from HOW, Lee will do what he’s done many times with Sektor and toss him back into the trash bin.”
Adam felt his cheeks flush with embarrassment, but he forced himself to meet Charlie’s icy stare. “You’re right,” he admitted. “I’ve been letting my emotions get the better of me.”
“Yeah, you have,” Charlie snapped, his eyes narrowing. “You signed with PRIME, kid… not HOW. PRIME is where your focus should be, not your personal vendetta against Lee Best.” He shook his head, disappointment etched across his face. “Your record in PRIME stands at 6 wins and 6 losses – that’s not good enough and I know you can do better.”
Adam clenched his fists. He knew Charlie was right; he’d allowed Lee’s taunts to get under his skin and roil him up to the point where he’d agreed to face his former mentor John Sektor at the upcoming HOW pay-per-view instead of concentrating on the Almasy tournament.
“I know,” he said, his voice tight with anger at himself. “I messed up.”
“Look,” said Charlie, softening slightly. “You’re a talented kid, but talent alone isn’t enough in this business. You need dedication and discipline. You have to block out distractions and stay focused on the task at hand.” He paused, considering Adam for a moment before continuing. “You’re better than this, Ellis. Don’t let Lee Best or anyone else dictate your career.”
Adam nodded, taking in Charlie’s words, feeling the weight of responsibility settle on his shoulders. He knew it was time to put his past behind him and concentrate on what really mattered – proving himself as a wrestler. And that meant putting everything he had into the next chapter of his journey.
Feeling the heat of Charlie’s gaze, Adam leaned against the ring ropes, his frustration mounting as he realized the truth in his mentor’s words. He closed his eyes, replaying his recent loss to Eddie Cross like a film reel in his mind, analyzing each mistake and missed opportunity. The humiliation of defeat burned within him, fueling his desire to refocus on what truly mattered.
“Adam,” Charlie said with a determined tone, “since you’ve already committed yourself to this three-ring carnival, you might as well do it right. If you want to really stick it to Lee Best, you’ve got to do one thing: defeat John Sektor.”
Adam’s jaw tightened at the mention of his former mentor.
“Listen,” Charlie continued, pacing around the perimeter of the ring. “Sektor’s experience is his biggest weapon. He can beat you in so many different ways – stretch you with the Sektor Stretch, punish you with that double arm lift into a facebuster he calls the C-Sektion… And let’s not forget his mind games. He’s going to leverage everything about your former association with him to get into your head and throw you off your game.”
“Good,” Charlie nodded, his expression still stern. “That’s why you’re going to commit yourself to intense training sessions for the next five days where I’m going to push you to your limits, physically and mentally. You wanted this match. You need to show me you’ve got what it takes to walk into a very unfriendly atmosphere against an opponent who’s a legend in HOW and not let the occasion get the better of you. You once hung with Cecilworth Farthington in a close match at PRIME; you’re going to need to put forth the same effort and throw everything you’ve got into this match with John Sektor.”
Adam stared into Charlie’s unyielding eyes, the weight of his mentor’s challenge settling on his shoulders. As he thought of the grueling days ahead – the sore muscles, the sweat-soaked clothes, the endless repetition of moves – he knew there was only one answer he could give.
“Oh, and one more thing,” Charlie added. “I don’t want to hear one more fucking word about Lee Best.”
Wednesday October 25th – The Ellis Residence- Farmersville, Texas
The front door creaked open, revealing a haggard Adam Ellis, his sweat-soaked hair clinging to his forehead. Every muscle in his 6’4″ frame seemed to cry out in protest as he sluggishly dragged himself through the doorway, his worn-out boots leaving faint tracks on the floor. The intense third day of Charlie Blackwell’s ‘Boot Camp’ had pushed him to his limits and beyond.
“Adam, honey, ah kin see yer plumb done in,” Ginny drawled, her fiery red hair and Appalachian accent a stark contrast to the exhaustion etched across her husband’s face. She rushed to his side, her slender fingers trying to work their way into his knotted muscles.
“Ah, Ginny, it hurts too much,” Adam groaned, flinching away from her touch. “I just need a long shower to try and relax.”
Ginny reluctantly let go, watching as Adam limped towards the bathroom, leaving her to worry over him. The sound of the shower running filled the air, accompanied by the occasional pained groan from Adam.
Once the water stopped, Adam reemerged, looking slightly more human but still weary. He found Ginny waiting for him, perched on the edge of their bed with a determined expression.
“Adam, we need ta talk ‘bout yer upcomin’ match,” she began, her voice firm but gentle. “An’ ‘bout my wrestlin’ manager career at MVW. Ah been thinkin’… are we helpin’ or hurtin’ one ‘nother by workin’ together?”
Adam sank onto the bed next to her, rubbing his temples. “I’ve been thinking about that too, Gin. Charlie and I had a long conversation about it on Monday. He feels you’re learning so much from working at MVW and managing your cousins, The Kentucky Redneck Mafia. And I can see how much it means to you.”
“Aw, shucks,” Ginny blushed, looking down.
“Maybe this is the best thing for us to do. I don’t want you going to Miami with me,” Adam said. “Especially after everything that happened in Tampa. I know Lee too well and the last thing I want is for you to be put in danger.”
Ginny nodded. “Ah know Ah kin be imp’sive, and Ah don’t wanna make thangs any harder fer ye, Adam.”
“I know,” Adam agreed, his hand finding hers. “But we can still support each other. Let’s promise to be more communicative and help each other grow in our careers.”
“Deal,” Ginny said with a small smile, giving his hand a squeeze.
“Thanks, Gin.” Adam’s eyes drooped, the weight of exhaustion settling over him once more. Heaving a sigh, he trudged toward their bed, knowing that another grueling day of training awaited him the next morning. As he lay down and closed his eyes, Ginny’s soft touch and unwavering support lingered in his thoughts, giving him the strength to face whatever challenges Charlie Blackwell had in store.
Thursday October 26th – The Sportatorium – Dallas, Texas
Day four of Charlie’s boot camp. Adam’s heartbeat thundered in his ears as he stepped onto the mat, the fluorescent lights above casting stark shadows on his sweat-drenched face. He breathed in deeply, the scent of rubber and determination filling his nostrils.
“Alright, kid,” Charlie called out, his voice echoing through the empty training facility. “Show me what you’ve got.”
“Ready when you are, sir,” Adam replied, masking any hint of trepidation. He took his stance, muscles tensed, and eyes locked on his mentor.
“Begin!” With that one word, the training session was underway.
Adam launched himself into a series of moves, each executed with razor-sharp precision. He could feel the sweat pouring down his face, stinging his eyes and making the mat slippery underfoot, but he refused to let it distract him. Every time he felt his focus waver, he imagined Sektor smirking at him and it spurred him on.
“Come on, Adam,” Charlie barked, never satisfied. “I want perfection! I need you to dig deeper!”
Adam gritted his teeth, pushing himself beyond his comfort zone. His muscles burned with every lift, every slam, every hold, but he refused to give in. He channeled his frustration and disappointment into each grueling exercise.
As the hours wore on, the distractions that had plagued him began to fade away, replaced by an unbreakable focus. It was as if the physicality of the training was stripping away everything that didn’t belong in the ring.
“Good,” Charlie grunted, finally offering a nod of approval.
“Understood,” Adam replied, his voice hoarse with exertion. He knew that the road ahead would be tough, but he was ready for the challenge.
“Alright then, let’s do it again. This time, focus on your counters. Sektor won’t hesitate to use every trick in the book against you.”
“Got it,” Adam said, wiping the sweat from his brow and settling back into his stance. He knew that he had to leave everything else behind and immerse himself fully in these intense training sessions. And as Adam launched into another round of exercises, the pain in his muscles and the exhaustion threatening to overtake him only served to strengthen his resolve.
Charlie stood back, observing Adam as he executed a series of flawless reversals and counters. The young wrestler moved with an intensity that had been absent in recent weeks, each motion fueled by a newfound dedication.
“Alright, take a breather,” Charlie called out, allowing the sweat-soaked Adam to pause for a moment. “I’ve noticed a change in you, kid. Your focus is sharper, and I can see the fire in your eyes. That’s what I want from my wrestlers.”
“Thank you, Charlie,” Adam replied, gasping for air as he relished the rare praise from his trainer.
“Good,” Charlie said, nodding his approval. “But remember, there’s always room for improvement. Don’t ever get comfortable.”
“Of course,” Adam agreed.
“Did you tell Ginny?”
“About staying home in Dallas and not going to the HOW pay-per-view show?” Adam replied.
“Yes,” Charlie said.
“How did it go?”
“Good. Go home and get some rest tonight,” Charlie continued. “Tomorrow, we’ll work on endurance and we’ll run through the game plan one more time. Adam, I all ask is that you give me just one more day of maximum effort and I promise you’ll be ready to face Sektor.”
Adam acknowledged Charlie with a nod. Internally, he braced himself for the grueling training session that awaited him, having survived the four previous days of Charlie Blackwell’s boot camp and knowing full well the physical toll it’d taken on his body.
Yet, instead of being filled with dread, he felt invigorated by the challenge. He’d cleared his mind of the clutter of the HOW-PRIME war and Lee Best’s campaign against him and zeroed in on the prize- defeating John Sektor at In God’s House.
Thursday Night- The Wrestling Guys Come Calling
Adam Ellis, his legs draped over the couch and wrapped in ice packs while another nestled behind his neck, winced as he shifted to grab his phone. The screen blinked with an incoming call from Thunderbolt Smith and ‘Long Haul’ Rick Hall, two of the most recognizable voices in wrestling. With a deep breath, he swiped to accept the call, feeling the anticipation churn within him.
“Hey guys,” he said, stretching the words out, trying to sound natural. He activated the speakerphone, reclined on the couch, and cranked up the volume against the distant hum of country music.
“Adam! Good to hear from you,” boomed Thunderbolt’s voice. “We’re just calling for that interview before In God’s House on Sunday.”
“Of course,” Adam replied, adjusting the ice pack on his neck.
“I remember when you first started at MVW in 2021,” Thunderbolt continued. “You were working out at Joe Bergman’s Barn.”
Adam nodded. “Man, those were the days. Those were some tough training sessions that Joe… and Dawn McGill… put us through.”
“Ah, yes,” chimed in ‘Long Haul’ Rick, “we were there when you made your Missouri Valley Wrestling debut. You’ve come a long way since then, kid.”
“Thanks, Rick,” said Adam, soft-spoken yet proud. “Joe taught me a lot about the ropes, I’ve learned so much from John Sektor and Charlie Blackwell and I’ve been pushing myself ever since.”
“All right, shall we get to it?” Thunderbolt asked, turning the conversation towards a more serious turn.
“Yep,” Adam said, squirming to get himself more comfortable on the couch.
“Well, we might as well start here with the elephant in the room,” Thunderbolt began. “Adam, can you talk to us about the ongoing feud between PRIME and HOW that you’ve been caught up in, specifically concerning Lee Best.
Adam clenched his jaw, inhaling deeply.
“Look, signing with PRIME was a no-brainer. Quite frankly, they asked me first and since then I am glad I made that decision because I believe in their vision and values,” Adam explained, measured and polite. “I’ve been giving the opportunity to become the best wrestler I can be and signing with PRIME it was absolutely the right move for Adam Ellis.”
“And Lee Best putting a target on your back?” followed up Thunderbolt.
Adam felt this question was difficult to answer. “As for Lee Best putting a target on my back because I signed with PRIME… well, to be honest, it’s not something I take lightly.”
He paused, gathering his thoughts before continuing. “Being caught in the middle of this PRIME vs. HOW feud has been one huge distraction. I’ve probably lost matches in PRIME because my focus isn’t where it needs to be and I aim to put a stop to it. I just want to be able to concentrate on my career, wrestle, and hone my skills, not get wrapped up in politics.”
“Understandable,” Thunderbolt replied, his voice tempered with respect. “But you have to admit, it must be quite a challenge having that extra pressure on your shoulders.”
“Definitely,” Adam admitted, rubbing his temple. “But I can’t let it distract me from what I love doing most: wrestling. I can’t control how Lee Best reacts or what he does. I can control Adam Ellis and once I’m done with John Sektor and HOW, I am moving on and getting my PRIME career back on track. Whatever comes my way, I’ll face it head-on. I know that no matter what challenges awaited me, I’d confront them with everything I had. The PRIME vs. HOW feud is just another hurdle, albeit a significant one, in my journey to becoming the best wrestler I could be.”
“Adam, let’s shift gears a bit,” ‘Long Haul’ Rick Hall began, his voice taking on a more serious tone. “You’re set to face John Sektor this Sunday at In God’s House. Given your history, how do you feel about stepping into the ring with him?”
Adam’s brow furrowed as he pondered the question. Memories of their past encounters, both good and bad, surfaced in his mind like snapshots. He sighed, trying to articulate his thoughts.
“Y’know, wrestling John… it’s gonna be something else,” Adam admitted, his voice tinged with a mix of anticipation and trepidation. “We’ve been through a lot together – some things I’m proud of, others not so much. But when that bell rings on Sunday, I have to put all those feelings aside. This is my job, and my goal is to defeat John Sektor.”
As he spoke, Adam absentmindedly rubbed the ice pack on his neck, feeling the cold seep into his skin.
“Adam,” Thunderbolt interjected, sensing the young wrestler’s struggle with the subject. “I hear what you’re saying, but is there any part of you that doesn’t want to wrestle Sektor?”
Adam hesitated, staring down at the floor as the weight of the question pressed upon him.
“It’s true,” Adam started, searching for the right words. “There is a part of me that wished I didn’t have to face his former friend and mentor. But as we all know, wrestling is a world where personal feelings often have to be cast aside for the sake of competition. Look, if I’m being honest… I don’t really want to wrestle John. I never wanted any of this to happen. I just wanted to wrestle for a big company. But it’s all out of my hands now. The die has been cast, and I have to face John Sektor whether I want to or not. So, when the bell sounds, I’ll use every tool in my wrestling arsenal to defeat him at In God’s House. That’s just the way it has to be.”
There was a momentary silence on the line, as Thunderbolt and Hall seemed to absorb Adam’s words. Finally, Thunderbolt spoke up, his voice somber yet respectful.
“Adam, we appreciate your candor and wish you the best of luck on Sunday. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today.”
“Thank you, guys,” Adam replied, the hint of a weary smile playing at the corners of his mouth. “It’s always a pleasure.”
As he ended the call, Adam leaned back into the couch, the ice packs offering little comfort to his aching body.
Ginny walked into the living room.
Adam nodded enthusiastically.
“Good.” Ginny took Adam by the hands and helped pull him up to his feet. “Let’s go to bed.”
Smiling, Adam kissed his wife on the forehead. “I think that’s the best idea I’ve heard all day.”
Later That Night: Dream Sequence
Joe Hoffman is on the big screen television.
Joe Hoffman: The time for talk has done. It’s time for action. Who will be the HOTv champion after tonight? Will it be the champion John Sektor? Or will it be the challenger… Adam Ellis.
After Adam has won the title, he has the HOTv belt slung over his shoulder.
Adam Ellis: No doubt, John Sektor. You are one hell of a competitor and I will not be a champion that hides. I stand here, before God and my father who’s here tonight, as I said I would be: the HOTv champion.
Adam points at his father in the audience and then looks down at the title belt.
Adam Ellis: In the tradition of Great Scott, in the tradition of Dan Ryan of the Final Alliance, of Shane Reynolds… of Steve Solex… to STRONK…
He begins to look a little conflicted.
Adam Ellis: Wait a second… wait a second… of Jeffrey James Roberts… of the King of Everything Jace Parker Davidson…
Adam looks at the HOTv belt.
Adam Ellis: …and John Sektor …and they can all KISS… MY… ASS!
Adam throws the belt down to the mat.
John, there’s only one thing I want from you after the match is over… a simple handshake.
That’s right, a handshake.
Then we both walk away and it’s over.
I don’t want the HOTv belt and even if I win on Sunday, I will not accept a title belt from an organization that died to me eighteen months ago when Lee Best declared war on me and done everything in its power to hold me back in my pro wrestling career.
On Sunday October 29th, in Miami’s In God’s House, I will re-ignite the flame inside of me for the sport of professional wrestling… not sports entertainment… but PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING.
I do appreciate everything you’ve done for me.
I appreciate the time you’ve spent helping me to become the wrestler that I am.
But after Sunday, when I walk out of a HOW ring for the final time, all I want from you is a handshake and then I will put that part of my life and career behind me and move on.