I remember John Sektor telling me at the beginning of our association that the wrestling business was the equivalent of riding the world’s largest roller coaster. It’s a super long, slow, methodical rise to the top. But once you crest at the top of that first hill, it’s a fast ride right back down to the bottom… and then you go back up… and then back down… up… down… left… right… and even sometimes upside down.
Man, was he right or what? Wrestling is one hell of a ride.
**March 27thv– won the HOW Tag Team title at March to Glory after defeating Conor Fuse and David Noble.
**April 24th – lost the tag title to Arthur Pleasant and Jeffrey James Roberts at Refueled 95.
God, I was so disappointed that my first run as a tag team champion only lasted twenty-eight days AND that we lost in our first title defense. Let’s be honest. High Octane Wrestling is stock full of grade A talent. Adam Ellis isn’t a fish in a small pond. HOW is one big ass pond and long title runs like the 275 day, 8 successful title defense LSD title reign John wrapped up at March to Glory are few and far between.
I felt bad for John though. He’d made publicly clear that once the tag title run came to a close that his in-ring wrestling career would also end so I wanted it to go on for as long as possible. John was so serious about retiring that he did the whole symbolic gesture of leaving his boots in the ring after we lost the belts. However, in our dressing room after the match, I tried like hell to talk John out of calling it a career but he was firm that he was done with wrestling. I even went so far as to grab John’s boots and reach out to John’s old trainer Micky.
John wasn’t too happy that I retrieved and returned his boots to him and then talked to Micky. But little did I know that the door would open- ever so slightly- for him to make one more singles run. The night we lost the belts, John found out he’d been booked the next show against Arthur Pleasant for a potential War Games slot. He ended up working with Micky and not only did he avenge the loss to Pleasant at March to Glory he also qualified for War Games.
Good for John.
Then I got an unexpected phone call Sunday night from HOW at the hotel room in Normal, Illinois where I was staying for Monday’s MVW show. They wanted to book John and me a tag team again to take on HOW World Champion Conor Fuse and Darin Zion at Refueled 98- back at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia where my HOW career began in January. Of course, I accepted. Even though I’d been one half of the tag team champions, I was still not officially signed to a HOW deal. I was anxious to show the powers that be once again that I deserved a full-time contract.
Philadelphia brought back fond memories. I can remember standing in front of the flags in front of the Wells Fargo Center back in late January before John and I took on Jimmy Cornfield’s men from Pro Wrestling: Assault. I remember thinking that I never imagined a scenario in my wildest dreams where Adam Ellis would ever share a bill with John Sektor. And yet there I was, a mere pup at twenty-one years old and a little over three years into my wrestling career.
And here I am now, a former HOW tag team champion. I hoped that another win over the current HOW World Champion in tag team action might open up a few more eyes and earn me the HOW contract I was hoping to get.
But before returning to Philadelphia, I had one small little piece of business to take care of first. Following the loss of the tag belts, I told John I thought it would be a good idea to come back to MVW and get a little more ring-seasoning. So, I returned to MVW and immediately ended up in a #1 contender’s match. Scott Stevens no-showed a MVW house show and a #1 contender’s match with ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson and I ended up taking his place one week later. Five months after the last time I fought Dickinson- a match Dickinson won inside a steel cage- we would meet again. This time, the stakes were high- a MVW Men’s title match the next week.
John couldn’t make it to this one so I was left to fend for myself to face the monster… my nemesis… the man who once put me out of action for several weeks after hitting three Southern Fried Powerbombs in a row.
But here’s the thing… I am NOT the same wrestler that met Dickinson last December. I’d proven that I could more than held my own in the ring with the likes of Jeffrey James Roberts, Arthur Pleasant, World Champion Conor Fuse, and David Noble. I’d won the Maurako Cup with John Sektor and held a top HOW title with him for twenty-eight days. A much more confident wrestler stood across the 330 Pound Southern Brawler than the one Dickinson tossed all over a steel cage at MVW’s Evening of Champions show.
And son of a bitch, I won the match. Bill even offered me a handshake afterwards. I accepted.
Old grudges fade away.
Time to turn the page.
Time to move on to bigger and better things…
**May 9th– won the MVW Men’s Title at Missouri Valley Wrestling’s Normal, Illinois house show.
My opponent on Monday, John O’Reilly, had held the MVW Men’s title since early July of 2021. Ten months. The last couple of title defenses saw O’Reilly’s faction- The Dark Overlords of Wrestling- interfere in title matches against ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson. John traveled to Normal, Illinois for this one. The match was close and I managed to avoid O’Reilly’s lethal Cannonball Right Hand and hit my Goodnight Kiss (Superman Punch) and damn near knocked O’Reilly out. I go to cover but the referee is busy talking with O’Reilly’s manager.
Then Chris Escondido (Ray McAvay’s former manager in 2015-2016 now associated with the Dark Overlords of Wrestling) came in and broke up the pinfall. Escondido started stomping the hell out of me and who comes to my rescue? Sektor was on his way but Bill Dickinson’s music came on and the next thing I know Dickinson’s throwing Escondido out of the ring. Then he Southern Fried Powerbombed Escondido through the timekeeper’s table.
I finally submitted O’Reilly with the STF and I became the new MVW Men’s champion.
So now we come to the match this weekend. John Sektor and Adam Ellis versus Conor Fuse and Darin Zion. Two familiar opponents. John and I defeated Zion and Xander Azula in the group stage of the tag team tournament. Then we won the belts at March to Glory against Fuse and David Noble.
But now things are a little bit different and our opponents are quite the same.
Let’s call it what it is…
Conor Fuse has turned into kind of a jerk, hasn’t he?
I mean, he’s become so insufferable that the Elder Scrolls… a group who’ve supported Conor for quite a long time… literally turned their back on him after what he did to David Noble at the end of their title match a few weeks back. What more can you say other than… if you look up gaudy and pretentious in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Conor’s new ring entrance… which is gaudy and pretentious.
Rah thinks Conor Fuse’s ring entrance is a little too much over the top.
And speaking of jerks. Darin Zion has pivoted from defender of the multiverse with Xander Azula, the man who once tried to sacrifice his girlfriend Meredith to the goddess Eris, to the apprentice of Simon Sparrow. Mind you, Sparrow is the man to whom Zion once made a rather cheap and crass comment about his comatose daughter that led to Simon showing up at a MVW show. Apparently, all is now forgiven and Simon’s taken Zion under his wing in kind of a Bud Fox-Gordon Gekko kind of way. Seriously, Simon’s teaching Zion to stiff a waiter on a $100 meal? I mean, greed is good I guess but yeah, that definitely falls under the heading of random acts of douchebaggery.
All I’ll say about that is if Zion pulled that shit at my old hometown hangout Heroes Restaurant in Warrensburg, Missouri, there’d be more than a few people who’d take offense at that blatant act of douchebaggery and the results wouldn’t be all that pretty.
While the names of our opponents this Sunday night remain the same, Conor and Zion are much different people than the ones we wrestled back in the Maurako Cup.
Of course, John and I haven’t wrestled together since Refueled 95 three weeks ago. We’ll have to reconnect again and get back on the same page of being a tag team again. Am I excited? Hell yes.
Am I aware of the fact that this will be the first match ever that will feature a current HOW World Champion and a MVW Champion? Hell yes.
I am so stoked for this match and I can’t wait to get back into a HOW ring again.
Backstage at the Redbird Arena- Normal, Illinois
Monday May 9th
Mere minutes after winning the MVW Men’s Title, Adam in the back posing for photos with the title belt over his shoulder.
“Right here Adam!” calls out one.
The new champion beams as the cascade of photos continue. There was nothing to hide. Adam was beyond happy.
“How does it feel, Adam?” shouts out another onlooker.
“It’s good,” Adam replies, clearly still riding the crest of adrenaline from the moment. “Real good.”
The photo shoot continues for a minute more before finally Adam can begin to head to his dressing. He’s still got his wrestling gear on, the title belt, and a white towel draped around his neck.
Sektor walks with him.
“How ya feeling, kid?” Sektor asks. He’s dressed impeccably per usual in one of his Gucci suits, a white collared shirt and wing tip shoes.
Adam points to a small cut on his face. “Besides this. I’m great.”
The cut Adam referred to was not a by-product of the match- is was a by-product of Scott Stevens sudden unwelcome invasion of the ring post-match. Adam had just been handed the title belt by referee Davey Keels and walked to three of the four sides of the ring, proudly hoisting the belt into the air with a huge shit-eating grin on his face. But just as Adam turned to go to the fourth side of the ring… there was scream and a sudden commotion. Scott Stevens suddenly appeared and he cold-cocked him with a right hand.
All hell then broke loose. Stevens pummeled the hell out of a blindsided Ellis. Sektor immediately dived in and tackled Stevens to the floor. MVW Security raced down to ringside and flooded the ring. Sektor pulled Ellis clear as security piled on top of Stevens followed by the Normal, Illinois police who’d came flying down the ramp right on the heels of MVW Security.
“Fucking Stevens,” Sektor mutters. He gazes down at his wing tip shoes and sees a scuff mark on the top- another result of the free-for-all in the ring after the match.
“So, do you think this will be enough to get me a full-time contract?” Adam asks.
“You have a contract,” Sektor replies.
“With Missouri Valley Wrestling,” points out Adam. “I get to wrestle in HOW because of the agreement between the two companies. Doesn’t the fact I came back to MVW and won the title show that I’m ready?”
“Is that the reason you wanted to come back here?” Sektor inquires.
“It’s one thing to beat up on a one-dimensional wrestler like John O’Reilly who has a dangerous right hand and nothing more,” Sektor says. “Everyone in HOW would do the same thing.”
“But-“ Adam’s protest is squelched by Sektor’s right hand he raises to quiet his student.
“Adam, you are definitely on their radar. Patience.”
“Patience. If we can get another win over Conor Fuse in the tag match this weekend, it would go a long way to-“
But before Sektor can finish the sentence.
“ADAM!” a voice cuts through the hallway.
Adam flinches. Then he turns around and exhales at the sight of the man who first took Ellis under his wing three years ago. “Joe!”
Joe Bergman walks up and shakes Adam’s hand. Then they hug.
“Good job Adam,” Joe congratulates him. “I’m so proud of you.”
Post hug, Joe nods towards Sektor. “Good to see you again, John.”
Sektor does likewise and then asks, “Is it Joe tonight or Halitosis.”
Bergman laughs. He’s dressed in his normal attire tonight. No black trench coat, no baseball bat, and most importantly, no bad breath. In fact, Joe used industrial strength Listerine to make sure his breath was minty fresh and non-offensive.
“Definitely Joe Bergman…” Joe’s disposition changes from light-hearted happiness for his former trainee to extreme displeasure like a light switch turning on a light. “…balls.”
Joe’s estranged wife Laura Bergman, MVW Chief Business Officer, comes down the hall with MVW Owner Ray McAvay and McAvay’s wife Stacee Perry-McAvay.
Joe and Laura’s eyes meet. He immediately puts his hand on Adam’s arm.
“I’ll talk to you later,” Joe says and immediately exits stage left in the opposite direct from where Laura is coming from.
Laura sighs. “Oh come on Joe!” she calls out to him, annoyed that her husband bailed at the sight of her coming. Joe keeps walking away and does not acknowledge her. “FINE! KEEP RUNNING AWAY… WHATEVER!”
Without turning around to face her, Joe raises his arm in the air and extends a middle finger just as he turns a corner and disappears.
“He won’t talk to me,” Laura whines to McAvay. She straightens up her Antonio Melani Riveria Notch Lapel ¾ Sleeve Front Blazer that covers her white shirt and black slacks and switches from distraught separated wife to Chief Business Officer mode in a heartbeat. “Adam, congratulations,” she says, forcing a smile. “Well done and we’re so glad you came back.”
Laura gives Adam a firm handshake.
“Thanks Ms. Bergman,” Adam replies.
Laura turns to Sektor. “John, I was going to congratulate you on your retirement but I hear you’ve put that off for the moment.”
“That’s correct,” Sektor says. “I’m going to wrestle at HOW’s War Games and then we’ll see what happens after that.”
“And you’ve got a tag match on Sunday with Adam,” Ray adds.
Sektor nods. “We do.”
“I am so stoked for this weekend,” Adam gushes.
Sektor pats Ellis on the shoulder to calm his young apprentice down.
“Congratulations Adam,” McAvay says, shaking Adam’s hand.
Adam’s shy smile returns. “Thanks Ray.”
“All right, we have to take off. Talk to you soon and good luck this weekend,” Ray says.
And with that, Ray, Stacee, and Laura bid their adieu and leave. Once they disappear from sight, Sektor nudges Adam. “And there’s the reason why you should stay as far away as possible from relationships with women right now.”
Adam nods his head. “Gotcha.”
Sektor shakes his head. “Just too much drama-“
Adam recognizes the voice that’s just emitted a high pitch squeal.
Strangely enough, so does John Sektor.
Sure enough, the six foot two Victoria McGill giddily skips down the hall toward them.
“You were great tonight,” Tori tells Adam after she stops and picks at a spot on her sweatshirt she’d accidently spilled a piece of ice cream on. She was dressed casually with jeans and tennis shoes. “Just great.”
“Thanks-ACK!” Adam’s response is interrupted when Tori lurches forward and envelopes him with her arms into a giant hug.
“Just great,” she repeats.
“Thanks Tori,” Adam squeaks out.
Tori makes eye contact with Sektor and then buries her head on Adam’s shoulder.
“I’m so proud of you,” Tori says before she releases Adam and he tries to get his breath back.
“So again, now it’s your turn?” Adam teases.
Tori nods. “Yeah. Just got to get by Shizuko. Hopefully I can do it this time.” She turns to Sektor. “Hey John.”
Sektor politely smiles. “Victoria.”
Tori gives Adam a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll see you around. Oh.” She whispers in his ear. “Oh, and watch it with the Van Lear girl.”
This alarms Adam. “Shit. People know?” he whispers back.
“Everyone knows, Adam. Well. except Cletus and Enos but they’re not exactly two of the brightest bulbs in the building aren’t they.” Tori returns to regular volume. “See you around kid.”
“Okay.” Adam gives her a mini-wave.
Before Sektor can ask Adam what that was all about, Tori walks over to John and pulls out a red and white casino chip with ‘River City Casino’ stamped on it in gold from her purse.
The significance of this? The River City Casino was the place Sektor took her several weeks ago after they hooked up in a bar and then spent the night together at the casino hotel.
Tori takes Sektor’s hand. “As for you… if you’re ever up to making a few more… bad decisions….,” she says demurely while placing the chip in the palm of his hand. “…call me.”
She winks at Sektor and then walks off as her cell phone rings.
Mouth agape and not quite sure what’s just happened, Sektor studies the chip in his hand. Tori’s written her phone number on it with a sharpie.
For a split second, he’s actually at a loss for words. Finally, he responds.
“Well, of course I’m not going to call her.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Adam assures him. “Tori and I talked everything out the day after March to Glory and everything’s good between us. She’s locked in and focused on one thing and one thing only- winning the Women’s title. We’re friends and that’s okay.”
Sektor glances down at the chip… then back up at Adam. “Yeah but I’m still not going to call her.”
Adam laughs. Okay, I’m going to go take a shower and get dressed. We’re going out afterwards?”
“Absolutely. Go get showered and I’ll meet you out front… but remember…” Sektor makes a big production out of pointing out to Adam the expensive clothing he’s wearing tonight. “I don’t care if MVW is a step below HOW, you are now the top champion of a wrestling company. So dress like a champion.”
Adam gives him a thumb’s up. “Yes, sir. I will.”
Adam’s Dressing Room
Five minutes later.
Adam wipes himself off with a towel and leaves it on the bench. Bending over now to unlace his boots, suddenly someone jumps on his back.
Adam gets a quick glimpse of bright red hair waving over his eyes before he deftly flips the person over. She lands on her feet.
“Ginny?” he says.
Ginny is Ginny Van Lear- a nineteen-year-old red-haired firecracker and the valet/enforcer for the former MVW Tag Team champions Kentucky Redneck Mafia.
“What the hell are you doing in here?” Adam demands to know.
“Look. Y’all know I cain’t git more’n a few minutes without cousin Cletus an’ cousin Enos stickin’ their nose in muh business.” Ginny speaks with a distinctive Appalachian drawl having grown up in rural Kentucky.
Before Adam can say anything more, she literally jumps right onto him and wraps her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist.
“I’ve missed you,” she coos.
“Ginny, I can’t do this right now,” Adam tells her.
“Why not?” Ginny starts kissing his neck.
“I need to take a shower and then I’m going out afterwards.”
“Ooooh. Shower. Now y’all talking.”
“Ginny… Ginny wait… Ginny…”
Ginny Van Lear grew up in McDowell, Kentucky, the only child of a Baptist minister. At a young age, she showed interest in Mixed Martial Arts but her father disapproved. Only after repeated pleading on her part, her father finally allowed her to take a karate class… which then led to judo… then kick-boxing… and before anyone knew it, Ginny’s a fifteen-year-old mixed martial arts prodigy and her picture is all over the local newspapers.
Ginny spent the overwhelming majority of her free time working out, attending MMA classes, and competing in MMA tournaments. Then a funny thing happened.
Ginny turned sixteen and discovered boys.
Fast forward to 2020. Ginny was competing at an MMA showcase down in Nashville, Tennessee and one night turned up missing at bed check. She was found making out with a boy in a darkened banquet room and once the news got back to her father, he immediately pulled her from all further competitions and brought her back home to McDowell.
With Ginny kissing him everywhere on his face, Adam manages to sputter out, “Ginny… if your cousins find out about this, they’ll kill me.”
Ah yes. The cousins. The cousins are Cletus T. Johnson and Enos T. Johnson aka… The Kentucky Redneck Mafia. Five hundred and eighty-five combined pounds of don’t give a flying fuck. The Johnsons needed a valet slash enforcer type and since Ginny was moping around the house all day, her father let her be in MVW on the condition that she traveled with and is chaperoned by Cletus and Enos at all time to ‘keep her out of trouble.’
Which worked well until Ginny and Adam met in mid-April at a MVW house show in Enid, Oklahoma. Ginny had set off a buck bomb inside the Kardoucheian family’s private and rather expensive Hollywood-style dressing trailer that night in retaliation because the Kardoucheians kidnapped her before their match with the Kentucky Redneck Mafia the night before and threw her into a dumpster.
Suffice to say, sparks flew immediately between Adam and Ginny.
And truth be told, Ginny might have been another reason why Adam wanted to return to MVW.
But tonight was not the best night for Adam to let things get carried away with her. Tonight was a big night for him. By winning the MVW title he felt that the win showed that he’d continue to mature as a pro wrestler and was worthy of the full time HOW contract he’s been working for.
Plus, he didn’t want to be late and piss Sektor off.
Somehow Adam manages to navigate fifteen minutes of hot and heavy fun time with his new boy crazy girlfriend, shower, and get himself dressed appropriately.
So as Adam fast walks towards the exit and passes a mirror, he stops. Adam looks good… real good. Nice shirt. Nice pants. Sports jacket. Black mark on the size of his neck. While he looks like a champion, something’s not quite right.
Adam moves in closer to get a better look.
Upon further reflection, Ellis realizes Ginny left a lovely parting gift for Adam to remember their evening by- a rather noticeable and sizable hickey on his neck.
“Aw… son of a bitch.”
He tries to reconfigure his shirt to try to hide it.
Adam checks his watch. He knows Sektor is probably waiting impatiently for him. Taking one last glance at the black mark on his neck, Adam sighs.
“John’s going to kill me.”