Following his appearance on High Octane Wrestling’s Chaos 5 show hyping up his upcoming MVW Men’s Title match at HOW’s Dead or Alive pay per view show, Adam Ellis flew back to St. Louis late Sunday evening/early Monday morning. Stiff and sore after Darin Zion’s sneak attack, he found it hard to catch a couple hours of shut-eye on the flight. This made the relatively short flight seem as if it took forever to arrive at the Lambert Airport.
Walking out of the Gold Standard Wrestling Academy following a tough workout directed by HOW Hall of Famer John Sektor the next day and tired and weary and lost in his thoughts, Adam walked slowly towards his 2010 Volkswagen Jetta in the parking lot. He’d worked relentlessly hard today on getting ready for Dead or Alive because Adam wanted to win this one.
He wanted to win this one real bad.
“Of course, Sektor build up a protégé and everyone knows what I did to Sektor.
I ENDED HIS CAREER.
Now some snot nosed, man-child trying to protect his mentor’s legacy and his training staff’s reputation wants to spit in my face and make a name off himself. He wants to step in my face and tell me I stepped out of line when NO ONE SHOWED REAL LOVE some respect?!”– ‘REAL LOVE’ Darin Zion
Adam Ellis had a belly full of listening to Darin Zion running off at the mouth bragging to anyone and anyone who would listen… and everyone else who wouldn’t… how he defeated The Gold Standard in his final HOW match a few months back and singlehandedly sent him into retirement. Ellis wanted to shut him up in the worst way for the way he was mocking Sektor.
Adam had two goals in mind for this match. One. he wanted to show not only Lee Best but ALL the Phoenix Wrestling Alliance partners that he was indeed ready to make a full time move into the big leagues.
Two, Adam wanted to get his hands on Zion for his own personal reasons as well. You see, John Sektor wasn’t the only one ‘Real Love’ Darin Zion and his Love Convoy trained their 4Z network machine gun on…
“When I ‘lost’ the MVW Men’s Heavyweight Championship a few months back—I never had my shoulders pinned to the mat. No one submitted me. MVW Management stole it from me on a technicality. I never lost MY MVW Men’s Heavyweight Championship belt. And now they bastardized the legacy I built for their championship when I crossed the line. “- ‘REAL LOVE’ Darin Zion
Ellis was so pissed off at Darin that deep down he hoped Zion’s Love Convoy would end up in the Love Canal.
The Love Canal was the location of a Niagara Falls landfill that became the site of an enormous environmental disaster in the 1970s. Companies used the site to dump chemical byproducts from the manufacturing of dyes, perfumes, and solvents for rubber and synthetic resins and other toxic waste on the grounds.
He wanted nothing more than to shut Zion up for questioning his title reign and prove to everyone that he was a worthy MVW Men’s Champion.
Of course, much of that pent up emotion, passion, and drive fueling the adrenaline surging through him simmered down by the time Adam reached his car in the GSWA parking lot. Now exhausted, the only thing on his mind revolved around the concept of a getting a much overdue good night’s sleep. He popped the trunk open with the remote control on his keychain and mindlessly shuffled to the rear of the Jetta to deposit his duffel bag there. He pulled the trunk lid down and shuffled towards the driver’s door. Adam pulled the handle and opened up the door and settled into the driver’s seat. He put the key into the ignition, checked the mirrors, and turned the key-
“SURPRISE!” a female voice shouted.
Startled, Adam nearly hit his head on the ceiling. Then he felt two arms wrapping around the front of his body from the back seat.
He glanced at the rearview mirror. Red hair. Big smile. Grip like an anaconda snake.
“Ginny?” he said, trying to talk while the air was being pushed out of his lungs.
Ginny was ‘Cousin’ Ginny Van Lear. Related to Cletus T. Johnson and Enos T. Johnson of the Kentucky Redneck Mafia. Daughter to a strict Baptist preacher. Former MMA prodigy.
And man, was she crazy about him.
“Bout time you got done,” she said in her distinctive Appalachian drawl- a byproduct of being born and bred in rural Kentucky. “I gotta couple hours before Cletus and Enos start lookin’ for me.”
For several weeks now, the pair carried on what they’d hoped was a discreet, under the radar, affair. That was not the case. With the exception of Cletus and Enos- two men who would not be confused with being charter members of the Mensa club, everyone… and we do mean EVERYONE including…
-Everyone else inside MVW Headquarters.
-Blaire Moise and Kellie Burkowski.
-The EWrestling Guys
-All the dirt sheets
-The front desk of twenty-one different hotels throughout the Midwest.
-The sheriff’s deputies who caught them parking behind the Sandford Wesleyan Church in the country just west of Terre Haute, Indiana…
…knew all about the heavy duty make-out sessions Adam and Ginny had engaged in and the places they took place including secluded areas backstage, showers, locker rooms, hotel parking lots, in the bushes and/or woods behind the hotel, the back seat of numerous rental vehicles, closets, and that one time they almost got caught by a security guard on the roof of the SIU Arena in Carbondale, Illinois.
Not a state secret.
“This is not a good time, Ginny,” Adam protests.
“But A-dammm!” Ginny whined.
Adam tries to pry Ginny’s arms off of him. She counters by diving in between the drivers and passenger seat of the car on top of the console and laying on her back.
“Aw come onnnn!”
It’s at that point that Adam realizes that Ginny has also pulled her shirt up with the full intention of removing said garment. “No. No no,” he said, trying to stop her. “Not now. Not here.”
Adam turned the key and the Jetta fired up.
“Hummph!” Ginny said. She pulled her shirt back down, crawled into the passenger seat, crossed her arms petulantly and proceeded to pout. She turned her head away from him and looked out the passenger side window while Adam stared at her and wondered what to do with her.
The past three years of his life, Adam devoted his life singularly towards getting his wrestling career up off the ground. Not only did Adam train at Joe Bergman’s Barn and worked talent enhancement matches in MVW, he also picked up matches all over the Midwest in small local promotions outside of Missouri Valley Wrestling to gain invaluable experience.
Then John Sektor saw him and brought him over to GSWA to train. Under Sektor’s tutelage, Adam ended a long running relationship by breaking off the engagement to his high school sweetheart. He’d short-circuited a potential relationship with Victoria McGill because he got burned by the bright lights of the intense media coverage that came along with the budding relationship. And of course, there was Tori’s little thing with Sektor, too.
Minor speed bumps aside, after winning the HOW Tag Team title with Sektor at March to Glory and then defeating John O’Reilly to become the MVW Men’s champion, Adam thought his plan was working to a ‘T.’
Then a red-headed fireball caught his eye at a MVW house show in Enid, Oklahoma.
That night, Ginny Van Lear hauled serious ass across the parking lot after she set off a buck bomb inside a very expensive Hollywood-style dressing trailer owned by Hollywood reality stars the Kardoucheian family. She did it in retaliation for the Kardoucheians kidnapping her and leaving her in a dumpster right before a big match with her cousins- the Kentucky Redneck Mafia.
She nearly ran Adam over in the process of getting away and their eyes met.
Golden harps played and the angels sang from heaven.
Cupid took his shot with his bow and arrow and hit the target.
And the late-night shenanigans began.
Adam rolled right into a hide and seek on the downlow relationship with Ginny. He did NOT want to make the same mistakes that were made with Victoria McGill. More importantly, Ginny knew SHE had to keep this secret from her Baptist preacher father. He’d already brought her home once after shower pictures of Adam and her mysteriously showed up in a wrestling dirt rag.
So there were reasons why Adam and Ginny tried to keep things under wraps… even though they really didn’t.
“Where do you want me to drop you off?” Adam finally asked her after five minutes of stone cold silence.
“Didn’t I save yur ass last night?” she asked plaintively. “I did that for you.”
After Zion attacked Adam and slapped on the Love Handle Lock at Chaos 5, Ginny sprinted out and delivered a kick to Zion’s face to break the hold. Ginny followed up with a spin kick that Darin ducked under and nearly took Zion’s head off before he scrambled away.
“Ginny, I really appreciate what you did for me last night in Dallas. I do,” Adam said. “But the next two weeks my sole focus has got to be getting ready for Darin Zion. There’s a lot riding on this match and I can’t have any distractions.”
“No buts,” Adam interrupted in a firm voice. “No distractions.”
“Whatever.” Ginny opened up the back door and swung her legs out to exit the Jetta. I’ll find a way back.”
“I thought you weren’t like those other boys,” she said, voice chock full of emotion and eyes getting ready to gush water like a busted fire hydrant. “I thought y’all really liked me!”
“I do… I do!” Adam replied.
“Well, you shure have a funny way of showin’ it.” Ginny slammed the door shut and began walking towards the road.
“Aw Ginny…’ he called out to her. “Wait!”
She kept striding forward at a brisk pace… and casually dropped a middle finger bomb towards him while not looking back.
“DAMMIT!” Adam hit the steering wheel with his right hand. He did like her. He liked her a lot. He really, really, really liked her.
Adam recalled all the times John Sektor had mentored him to steer clear of relationship entanglements with women. He believed Adam needed to keep his focus on his career and women only complicated matters. So Adam heeded his advice and done exactly that for the past year and a half.
He broke off the engagement to his high school sweetheart.
But then the Tori thing almost happened. Not the best timing. Then John and Tori… er never mind.
Then Ginny came along and for some reason, something told him deep down he couldn’t just let her walk away.
But… Zion. He really wanted to beat Darin Zion and all his stupid real love, love convoy, sports entertainment… and then the proverbial light bulb popped on in his head.
When it came to wrestling, Adam trusted John Sektor and his vast wrestling knowledge implicitly.
But when it came to affairs of the heart? Well. Adam knew all about John’s ‘issues’ with women. On this front, Adam had to figure this out for himself.
“Yeah,” he said to himself. “Real love.”
Adam now knew what he needed to do. Adam opened the driver’s side door of the Jetta and stood on the frame looking over the front door towards Ginny.
If Ginny heard him, she completely no-sold his call out and kept on walking.
“Aw come on Ginny…,” he mumbled. Adam took a deep breath and bellowed out: “GINNY VAN LEAR!”
And he waited.
And she kept going. Her path did not deviate and she still walked at a quick pace away from him.
Adam decided it was time to bring out the heavy artillery. “All right then…”
“VIRGINIA MAE VAN LEAR!”
Ginny came to a sudden, full stop.
Adam knew she hated her full name.
Adam also knew she hated it even more when someone called her by her full name.
‘GINNY, THE ONLY REASON I CAME BACK TO MVW WAS BECAUSE OF YOU!” he shouted, voice echoing off the buildings and all over the area.
Ginny finally turned and faced him.
‘THAT’S RIGHT. THE REASON I CAME BACK WAS BECAUSE OF YOU!” he repeated.
She took a couple steps forward.
“THE REASON I CAME BACK…,!” Adam paused. “IS BECAUSE I LOVE YOU!”
Her eyebrows raised.
“THAT’S RIGHT. I LOVE YOU!”
Ginny’s eyes were wide open.
“REAL LOVE! NOT THE CARNY BULLSHIT DARIN ZION’S BEEN PEDDLING BUT THE REAL THING! REALLY REAL LOVE REALLY REA-…” Adam’s syntax got all jumbled up so he paused and then cut to the chase. “AW FUCK IT… I LOVE YOU!”
Her eyes welled up and soon the water began to flow like a busted fire hydrant. Then she took off in a dead sprint towards him. Adam stood there. He braced himself and spread his arms out wide. Five feet away from him, Ginny launched herself into the air to jump into his arms.
But this was Ginny Van Lear…
…and her cousins were the Kentucky Redneck Mafia- Cletus T. Johnson and Enos T. Johnson…
“GINNNNN-NEEEEEE!” shouted Cletus out the car window.
…and when she was stomping away from Adam in a huff, she might have texted her cousins to let them know where to pick her up.
“Oh shit,” Adam mumbled
The slightly rusted out 2004 Lincoln Town Car fishtailed when the driver- one Cletus T. Johnson- made a sharp course correction when he saw Ginny with her arms and legs wrapped around Adam.
“GINNNNNN-EEEEE!” Cletus yelled and reset the vehicle’s course right towards her.
Adam cursed his luck as Cletus slammed on the brakes and slid the Lincoln Town Car to a stop mere inches from where him and Ginny stood.
Adam forced a smile as the car doors violently opened and Cletus and Enos roared out of the car.
“On the other hand, maybe Sektor was on to something here.”
Monday August 8th
The atmosphere resembled a outdoor festival in the parking lot outside MVW headquarters with a plethora of cars in the lot and people milling all about.
MVW’s Chief Business Officer Juliett LeBlanc scheduled a press junket to hype the first time ever the Missouri Valley Wrestling Men’s Title match would be featured on a major companies pay per view show.
Several vehicles warmed up in the parking lot. The caravan would leave St. Louis and hit several MVW cities including: Peoria, Illinois, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa, Omaha, Nebraska, Kansas City, Missouri, Springfield, Missouri, and Wichita, Kansas. After Wichita, the caravan headed due west to Tombstone for the HOW pay per view show.
Adam hung out by himself and leaned up against his Volkswagen Jetta. He kept one eye on his travel bag and duffel bag located on the ground by his feet and the other eye took in the spectacle.
“Hey Adam!” a friendly female voice called out.
The voice belonged to Kellie Burkowski- MVW’s backstage interviewer. Kellie joined MVW in January 2020 replacing Blaire Moise after she returned to High Octane Wrestling after being unceremoniously let go in late 2019 by HOW for reasons no one still doesn’t quite understand.
Blaire and Kellie had formed a warm professional friendship. Kellie learned a lot about the business and the craft of becoming a top-notch backstage interviewer from her. Blaire was a resource she could always go to if she ever had any questions about what she was doing.
“Hey Kellie,” Adam replied, stealthily shifting his left hand into his pants pocket.
The perky blonde pulled up beside Adam by his car.
“Before we get going, can I ask you a few questions?” she asked.
“Yeah, why not.” Adam always found Kellie easy to talk to.
“Okay.” Kellie raised her hand and suddenly a MVW camera crew materialized.
“Hi. Kellie Burkowski here in the parking lot of MVW Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri,” she said, facing the camera. “I’ve got the MVW Men’s Champion Adam Ellis with me.”
“Hey Kellie,” Adam repeated.
Kellie turned to him. “First off, how does it feel to be back on the big stage and wrestling at a HOW pay per view again?”
She moved the microphone towards Adam for his response.
“Kellie, I can’t wait. The first time I was in HOW, I had John Sektor with me to help guide me through. Now, I’m a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and ready to show the MVW fans, the HOW fans, and PWA fans just what Adam Ellis can do inside the ring.”
“So… let’s talk about your match at Dead or Alive. Your opponent is going to be Darin Zion,” Kellie continued. “Darin was a former Men’s Champion here and he’s had quite the career spanning years and many different companies.”
“Yes. Darin has a lot of experience,” Adam admitted. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he is an accomplished wrestler and I will have to be ready for what he brings to the ring.”
“Darin Zion’s attack on you last week at HOW’s Chaos 5. Do you think he was trying to get into your head?” she inquired.
“Kellie, short answer… yes,” answered Adam. “I’m sure he was trying to get into my head. He was also trying to hurt me too and make sure I wouldn’t show up at Dead or Alive one hundred percent. Thankfully, I had a little back up with me Sunday night.”
“Ginny Van Lear.”
“Ginny, came through,” Adam said, looking up and around for the red-head from Kentucky. “She hit one kick to get Zion to break the hold and then tried to knock Zion’s head off- and would have if Darin wouldn’t have moved- with a spinning heel kick. She was wonderful. I’m very thankful for her being there.”
“Were you surprised she came to your aid?” Kellie asked, trying to pry just a little into what was… once again… the world’s worst secret- Adam’s relationship with Ginny Van Lear.
Adam located the diminutive red head over by the Johnsons. She didn’t look very happy to be with them and, all things considered, he’d rather she was standing next to him right now.
“Adam, were you surprised when she came-“
“Oh… no,” he finally responded. “Not really. Ginny’s a friend and again, I appreciated the fact she came in and tried to kick Darin’s head off.”
Kellie let out a snicker… then caught herself.
“Adam, a lot of people were surprised when you came back to MVW. What made you return?”
Adam paused for a second and thought.
“There’s a lot of reasons. Some I want to talk about,” he said coyly. “Others I’d rather not.”
“What are the reasons you want to talk about?” Kellie persisted.
“Kellie, you know. Since there’s a lot of talk about ‘real love’ going on right now thanks to Darin Zion, I’ll put it out there that there a lot of wrestlers in MVW who share a real love like I do towards the sport of professional wrestling. We don’t go out there and dilute the term ‘real love’ by turning it into a sports entertainment-style catchphrase. When Adam Ellis goes to the ring… he’s doing something he really loves to do- a real love for pro wrestling. When Darin Zion uses the term ‘real love,’ he comes off as the schlocky emcee of a terrible game show or worse- a bad used car salesman.”
“All right,” Kellie said, wrapping up the interview. “MVW Men’s Champion Adam Ellis… thank you for your time.”
The Van Lear Homestead
Friday August 12th, 2022
After four long days of training and participating in MVW’s multi-city caravan, Adam and Ginny flew out of Wichita Thursday night and landed in Lexington, Kentucky. Early Friday morning, they set out from Lexington for the two-and-a-half-hour drive deep into the Appalachian Mountains.
After stopping by the Lucy Hall Cemetery off Kentucky 680 to visit her momma’s gravesite- Ginny’s mother passed when Ginny was just 9 years old- Adam and Ginny arrived around two o’clock in the afternoon at the large palatial house she grew up- the only place Ginny had ever really called home. Pulling into the long driveway that snaked its way up and over a hillside to the house, Adam and Ginny parked the car by the large four vehicle garage and walked up the sidewalk towards the large front porch. They walked up the steps onto the porch.
The door opened and Ginny’s father appeared and hugged his daughter.
She showed him the bright, sparkly, but modest wedding ring on her finger- courtesy of a simple ceremony officiated by the Justice of the Peace of Jefferson County, Missouri- in the county seat of Hillsboro, Missouri one week before- Friday August 5th to be specific- and witnessed by Joe Bergman and Dawn McGill.
Her father smiled and offered a hearty handshake to Adam, complete with a “Welcome to the family!” greeting to his new son-in-law. This completely floored Adam after all the stories he’d heard about her strict Baptist preacher father.
But then he sat Adam down and explained how once upon a time… before he grew up to become a fire and brimstone breathing Southern Baptist minister… he too was a young, brash kid wildly in love with a girl… much like Ginny… who was wildly in love with him. They snuck around and courted under the radar because her parents didn’t approve until one day they couldn’t wait anymore. So the couple snuck off to the Floyd County Courthouse to get hitched and made it all official.
They were both just 18 years old.
Of course, Ginny’s grandparents were none too pleased with what their daughter had done. But she was their daughter and they wanted her to be happy.
In this case, Ginny was his daughter and there was nothing more in the world he wanted than for her to be happy and he had to have faith that she was doing the right thing because as the Bible verse says: …and now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
So, Ginny’s father unreservedly gave his blessing to the union and just like his wife’s parents had done before… albeit reluctantly… twenty years ago, wished them the best.
Now that’s real love.