Monday November 21st – Chaos 50 – Lincoln, Nebraska
…Evan Ward takes a moment getting back up to his feet. Drew Mitchell still catches his breath on his back.
“Come on Drew!” Sunny O’Callahan clapped her hands and urged her wrestler on. She noticed Ward did not immediately advance towards the rookie and soon realized why. Ward’s distracted by the sight of Rhys Townsend preparing to jump into the ring.
Sunny banged her fist on the ring apron.
“DREW! GET UP!”
As Ward immediately started pointing and shouting at Townsend, Sunny waved her arms wildly, trying to will Drew back to his feet… which he did. Sunny grinned. She knew Ward didn’t see Drew pulling himself back up to his feet. When Ward finally turned around…
…his jaw met the perfectly timed boot of Drew Mitchell!
“NOW FINISH HIM!” she shouted out.
On cue, Mitchell immediately grabbed a handful of Ward’s hair and hoisted him up in the air. He spun Ward around and brought him face first down on his knees with the Tenshi Crash…
Sunny jumped into the air with her fist extended up and exclaimed, “YES!
Ward bounced from the impact. Mitchell immediately hooked his legs.
And in 16 minutes and 33 seconds… Drew had defeated Evan Ward.
Ignoring the extracurricular activity in the ring by Rhys Townsend and Ward, Drew quickly rolled out the ring to celebrate his victory with his manager.
“YOU DID IT!” a jubilant Sunny told him.
Drew lifted Sunny into the air and swung her around a couple times.
“SEE! I TOLD YOU! YOU CAN DO THIS, DREW!”
Sweat dripped down Drew’s face as with a triumphant strut, Drew made his way back up the ramp to the backstage area with Sunny, her frizzy blonde hair bouncing with every step. She wore a black leather jacket over a vitage band t-shirt, paired with faded denim jeans and heels. She took a swig from her trusty bottle of Southern Comfort, the sweet burn of the whiskey inside of her accompanying the satisfaction of Drew’s win.
“Did you see that, Sunny?” Drew exclaimed as they walked side by side. “I bloody did it!”
Sunny’s face was a mixture of pride and elation as she watched her protege bask in the adoration of the fans. Her California accent tinged with a touch of Irish pride, she replied, “Of course I saw it, Drew. You were amazing!”
As they made their way to the back, Drew pulled Sunny into a tight embrace, his muscular arms squeezing her slender frame. “Thank you, Sunny,” he said genuinely.
The adrenaline still pumping through his veins, Drew excitedly recounted each move he executed in the ring, describing the force behind them and the sensation of having the crowd on his side. Sunny listened intently and shared his excitement.
Finally exiting the Pinnacle Bank Arena and making their way to the hotel, Sunny braced herself for what usually came next – Drew trying to make a move on her or propositioning her like he had over and over before. But much to her surprise, standing face to face outside their adjoining rooms, Drew simply looked at her with genuine appreciation and affection.
“Good night, Sunny,” he says softly, his British accent lilting. “Sleep well.”
“Good night, Drew.” Sunny watched him retreat to his room, a pang of confusion stirring within her. She had prepared herself for the advances, but now that they didn’t come, part of her felt a little twinge of disappointment. Torn between relief and curiosity, she slipped into her own room, the door clicking shut behind her.
Tuesday November 22nd – The Hulman Center- Terre Haute, Indiana
The following day, the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana buzzed with anticipation for Missouri Valley Wrestling’s house show later that night. Sunny O’Callahan stood at ringside, her frizzy blonde curls bouncing with every excited step she took. Sunny and Drew drove there from Nebraska after the HOW show because in addition to mentoring Drew Mitchell, she also managed ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson in MVW, and he had a match that night.
But the Dickinson match would have to wait because, for the moment, Sunny’s sole focus was on the young man training in the ring.
“C’mon, Drew!” Sunny called out, watching him train intensely. She clutched her signature Southern Comfort drink in one hand, using the other to gesture encouragement.
Drew worked through his drills with what appeared to be a newfound focus. His movements are sharp and precise, fueled partly by the memory of his victory over Evan Ward the previous night… partly by the presence of Dawn McGill in the building, three nights after they spent what could be charitably called a ‘torrid’ night together. Sunny struggled to process her feelings after seeing Dawn leave Drew’s hotel room the next morning.
“Hey there, Sunny!”
Snapped back to attention, Sunny turned and acknowledged Joe Bergman as he joined her at ringside.
“Joe. Thought you might be here.”
Joe nodded. “Thought I’d check in on how Drew is doing. He sure looks like a man on a mission.”
“Yeah, he’s been like this all day,” Sunny replied, her Californian accent mingling with a hint of Irish brogue. “That win last night over Evan seems to have really lit a fire under him.”
Joe nodded. “How’s it been training him?”
Sunny sighed and sipped her drink. “It’s been…challenging.” She played with her hair for a second and continued. “Definitely challenging. Keeping him focused has been a struggle, but I’m hoping the win last night over Evan Ward finally showed him what he’s capable of.”
As they talked, Drew paused for a moment when he caught sight of Dawn McGill watching from the upper reaches of the arena. Her presence only seemed to spur him on, and he dove right back into his training with renewed intensity.
“Hmmmm. Looks like he’s got an audience,” Joe remarked with a grin.
Sunny’s eyes narrowed as she followed Drew’s gaze up to the shadowy figure of Dawn McGill, leaning against the railing in the upper reaches of the arena. A sudden flicker of uncertainty crossed her face, and she shook her head, unsure of what to make of this new development. “Seems so,” Sunny said, trying to put a positive spin on it. “But hey, if it keeps him working this hard, I’ll take it.”
Joe patted Sunny on the shoulder. “Look, you’re doing a great job with him, Sunny. Just stick with it and stick to your plan and there’s no telling how far he can go.”
“Thanks, Joe,” she replies, her eyes never leaving Drew as he worked in the ring. “I really appreciate that.”
Joe could tell that Sunny seemed a little unsettled with the presence of Dawn McGill, a knowing smile playing at the corners of his mouth. “You ever see that movie Bull Durham?”
Sunny looked at him, perplexed. “No. And what’s that got to do with anything?”
“Oh, not much. Except that I think there might be a little Annie Savoy-Nuke LaLoosh dynamic in play here,” Joe explained, his eyes still on Dawn as she continued to watch Drew train from the second level. “She was his muse, his inspiration. Helped him focus on the game, find his groove.”
With a small grin, he began to explain the plot of “Bull Durham,” a cult classic movie from the late eighties. “Bull Durham followed the lives of three characters,” Joe explained. “Crash Davis, a seasoned catcher who mentors a young and reckless pitcher; Annie Savoy, a baseball fanatic and self-proclaimed groupie who chooses one player each season to be her lover and guide him in both the game and life; and Nuke LaLoosh, a rookie pitcher with immense potential but lacking control and discipline.”
However, Sunny still looked puzzled, her brow furrowed in confusion.
“Annie Savoy was like Nuke’s muse,” Joe clarified, gesturing animatedly with his hands. “She helped him focus on the game and find his rhythm.”
Sunny nodded slowly, still trying to make sense of how this related to their situation. “And you think…?”
“Dawn could be Drew’s Annie Savoy,” Joe stated matter-of-factly, turning his attention back to watch Drew as he threw himself into training with newfound determination. “Just something for you to consider.”
Sunny’s eyes widened in realization. “Wait…that would make me his Crash Davis?”
A sly smile played on Joe’s lips as he watched Dawn scribbling something quickly on a notepad before handing it off to a ring technician. The technician hurried down the stairs and passed the note to Drew.
“Maybe,” Joe replied with a shrug and a grin.
“Oh.” Sunny made a sour face. “I’m not sure what to think about that.”
A brief moment of silence followed as Sunny pondered over this new perspective. Seizing the opportunity, Joe posed the question that had been nagging at him. “Hey, Sunny…do you like Drew?”
Sunny gave him a look that suggested she was surprised he asked that question. “Well, yeah. Drew’s a good guy… his taste in women withstanding… but I like him as a person.”
Joe shook his head. “No. I mean, do you like Drew?”
Her cheeks flushed a rosy pink, and she nervously toyed with a strand of her blonde hair. “Maybe… a little…” She hesitated, then let out a sigh. “We, uh, might have… um, slept together a couple of times.
“Oh really?” Joe raised an eyebrow, genuinely surprised.
“I had a weak moment…”
Joe raised his eyebrows.
“…okay, two weak moments. But I’ve been keeping it strictly just professional since then.” Sunny’s voice dropped to a whisper, “It’s hard not to turn around and feel a little jealous when he tells me, in graphic detail, about what happens with the girls who show up at training or what happened Saturday night with Dawn.”
“Ah,” Joe nodded sympathetically, understanding her dilemma. “That does make things complicated.”
Sunny took another sip of her Southern Comfort. Her eyes flicked back and forth between Drew’s sweat-drenched figure and the enigmatic presence of Dawn McGill as if trying to read their intentions from afar.
“Look, Sunny,” Joe said, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “Whatever’s going on with Drew and Dawn, or Drew and anyone else, don’t let it distract you from what you’re here for. You’re doing great work with him, and I have no doubt that he can go far under your guidance.”
“Thanks, Joe,” Sunny replied, offering him a half-smile. She knew he was right; she just had to keep focused on her job, no matter how difficult that might be.
“Drew looks very promising. Going up against the likes of Evan Ward and Shane Reynolds will only make him develop faster,” Joe added.
Sunny felt her heart lighten a bit at Joe’s words. She knew he was one of the good guys in the business, someone she could trust. Taking a deep breath, she let her eyes meet his, full of gratitude.
“Thanks, Joe,” she said, her voice tinged with emotion. “I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me. You’ve always been there to lend an ear or give advice, even when I didn’t necessarily want it.” She gave him a playful smirk, remembering some of their more heated discussions.
“Hey, that’s what friends are for, right?” Joe replied, returning her smirk with one of his own. He gave her shoulder a comforting squeeze before releasing it. “Now, go watch your protégé train. I have a feeling he could be something special.”
Sunny nodded and turned her attention back to Drew, who was now engaged in a grueling series of drills. She watched closely, her keen eyes picking up on the subtle improvements he’d made since they began working together. Despite his rowdy nature and sometimes infuriating behavior, he had a raw talent that couldn’t be denied. And it was her job to help him hone it.
As she observed, her thoughts drifted briefly to Dawn McGill, who still stood in the shadows, watching intently. Though she couldn’t shake her unease about the woman’s presence, she resolved to keep her focus on Drew and not let any outside distractions interfere with their progress.
“Come on, Drew!” Sunny shouted encouragingly, clapping her hands together and injecting as much energy as she could muster into her voice.
Sunny O’Callahan stood in the center of a wrestling ring, her frizzy blonde hair bouncing around her face as she raised the microphone to her lips.
“Two weeks ago,” she began, her voice echoing throughout the empty arena, “I told you all that Drew Mitchell would beat Evan Ward, and what happened?” She paused, sipping her Southern Comfort from a hip flask, the liquid courage warming her insides. “Exactly what I said would happen. Drew Mitchell put on a show for the fans in Lincoln. Drew Mitchell took Evan Ward’s best shot and what happened to him? Tenshi Crash… good night… and game over. And I have news for Shane Reynolds… Drew’s going to do it again Monday night in Denver, Colorado.”
Her blue eyes scanned the empty seats, picturing the wild crowd that would soon be cheering for their heroes and villains alike.
“Because you see,” she went on, ” just like Evan Ward, Shane Reynolds is on the downward arc of his career. But Drew Mitchell…” She smiled, her Irish lilt coming through. “Drew Mitchell is on the way up. Drew Mitchell is young… Drew Mitchell is focused… and Drew Mitchell is determined to make his mark in High Octane Wrestling. You see, the first time I saw Drew wrestle in England, I could see Drew’s potential, the raw power within him that just needed the right guidance to unleash. What a force he could become. I can feel it in my bones and I knew he just needed the right situation to realize his dream. You see, working hard isn’t even the half of it,” she said, her voice rising. “To make your dream come true, you have to work for it. To follow his dream, Drew’s been training day and night, showing everyone he’s got what it takes. He’s won three matches in four in HOW and that’s not bad for a rookie with limited experience. And let me tell you this, once he figures things out, there’s going to be no stopping him.”
Her words echoed through the empty arena, a promise and a challenge to anyone who dared stand in their way. She took another sip of Southern Comfort, the warmth spreading through her chest like the fire of her conviction.
“Shane Reynolds,” she said, her voice dripping with confidence, “you better be ready, because Monday night, you’re facing the future of High Octane Wrestling – Drew Mitchell. Shane, you had your time. You had your moment. But Drew Mitchell is the future and it’s time for you to step aside because there’s nothing you can do to stop him.”
Sunny lowered the microphone and Drew Mitchell stepped forward, his muscular frame casting a long shadow on the mat as he took the microphone from Sunny. The glint in his eyes was unmistakable; it was the fire of a man who knew he had something to prove. The arena lights reflected off beads of sweat that had gathered on his brow, but his gaze remained steady and focused.
“Shane Reynolds,” Drew began, his British accent adding an edge to his words, “you might think you’re ready for what’s coming Monday night, but let me tell you, mate – you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
He paused for emphasis, letting the weight of his words hang in the air like a challenge. Sunny stood beside him, nodding in agreement, her eyes never leaving his face. She could see the hunger for victory burning within him, and she knew it would be unstoppable.
“A fortnight ago, I showed the whole bloody world that Evan Ward’s time has gone. Now it’s your turn, Shane. You may ‘ave ‘ad yer moments, but the era of Drew Mitchell ‘as just begun!”
Sunny couldn’t help but smile at Drew’s boldness. He was raw and untamed, a wild stallion that needed only her guidance to become a true force to be reckoned with. She knew that together, they were unstoppable.
“I’ll show ya what determination and skill truly be,” Drew said, his eyes narrowing as he imagined himself in the ring, facing off against Shane Reynolds. “An’ when I’m finished with you… well, let’s just say… well… Tenshi Crash!”
The intensity of Drew’s words echoed through the empty arena. He felt the adrenaline coursing through his veins, the anticipation of the upcoming match stoking the fire within him.
“Oi, this ain’t some bloody warning shot fired ‘cross enemy lines. Come Monday night, I’ll show ya exactly what I’m made of and you’ll be the next one in line to get knocked down by Drew Mitchell!” Drew bellowed into the mic, his voice carrying the fierce strength and determination that had brought him success in High Octane Wrestling. “The time for Shane Reynolds is over, mate. There’s a new star on the rise!”
As he lowered the microphone, Drew turned to Sunny, his eyes filled with gratitude and newfound confidence. She offered him a knowing smile and a nod, silently assuring him that together, they would conquer whatever challenges lay ahead.
Tuesday November 22nd – The Hulman Center- Terre Haute, Indiana
Later in the night, Drew Mitchell stood backstage at the Hulman Center, the corridor buzzed with excitement and bodies moving in all conceivable directions. Hands resting on his hips, his eyes scanned the area, drawn to the figures moving in and out of the shadows.
“Blimey,” Drew muttered under his breath as his gaze landed on Dawn McGill, the 43-year-old former pro wrestler and manager. She was preparing to accompany Bill Dickinson to the ring for his match. As she adjusted her open black suit coat, it revealed her provocative bikini top underneath and the sheer black top clung to her toned body, leaving little to the imagination. Her mini-skirt hugged her hips, showcasing her mile-long legs encased in fishnet hose. Towering heels completed the ensemble, making her look positively lethal.
“Cor,” Drew whispered, unable to tear his eyes from the breathtaking sight before him. He could feel the heat rising in his cheeks and his heart pounding in his chest. But despite his awe, he couldn’t resist approaching Dawn.
“Oi, Dawn,” he called out, trying to sound casual despite the sudden dryness in his throat. “You’re looking, uh, smashing tonight.”
Dawn turned towards him, a knowing smirk playing on her lips. “Well, thank you, Drew,” she purred, her voice sultry and captivating. “I do appreciate a man who can appreciate a good outfit.”
“Right, well, it’s definitely… eye-catching,” he stammered, trying to keep his gaze focused on her face rather than let it wander to her more alluring assets. It was no easy task.
They exchanged a few more words, their conversation brief but charged with an electric undercurrent. Dawn glanced at her wristwatch, a flicker of urgency crossing her features. “I have to go,” she said, her tone suddenly all business. “Bill’s waiting for me.”
“Of course, yeah,” Drew replied, trying to sound understanding rather than disappointed.
But before Dawn turned to leave, she reached into her top and produced a hotel keycard from her cleavage with a triumphant flourish. She pressed it into Drew’s hand, her fingers lingering on his just long enough to send a shiver down his spine. With a smoldering wink, she whispered, “Perhaps we can continue this conversation later tonight.”
Drew’s heart raced as he watched her confidently stride away, her hips swaying hypnotically with each step. He stared down at the keycard in his hand, feeling as if he held the golden ticket to some forbidden paradise.
Tuesday Night November 22nd– La Quinta Inn and Suites- Terre Haute, Indiana
The dim glow of the hotel room’s table lamp cast a warm light on Sunny O’Callahan as she lounged on the bed, her legs sprawled out in front of her. The movie Bull Durham played on the small television screen set on a wooden dresser across the room, the volume turned down just enough so that it wouldn’t disturb the other guests. After a long night at the wrestling show, Sunny had slipped into her bedtime attire: an oversized, worn-out t-shirt that draped over her like a dress, leaving her toned legs bare.
Crunching on a handful of popcorn, Sunny watched intently as Susan Sarandon’s character, Annie Savoy, laid out the ground rules for her unconventional love life. A smirk formed on Sunny’s lips as she sipped her Southern Comfort and listened to Annie’s words.
“Alright, these are the ground rules. I hook up with one guy a season. Usually takes me a couple weeks to pick the guy – kinda my own spring training…”
“Spring training, huh?” Sunny mused to herself, chuckling softly as she tilted her head back and let the whiskey burn its way down her throat
“…And, well, you two are the most promising prospects of the season so far, so I just thought we should kinda get to know each other.”
Sunny raised an eyebrow, her blue eyes shimmering with amusement as she considered the similarities between Annie’s method and her own mentoring style. True, the two slip-ups with Drew withstanding, she wasn’t sleeping with any of her other wrestlers, but she certainly had a knack for spotting potential in the young men who crossed her path. But on the other hand, she wasn’t the Annie Savoy in this particular situation. She was the Crash Davis…
“Time out. Why do you get to choose?”
…to Dawn McGill’s Annie Savoy.
“Why do you get to choose? I mean, why don’t I get to choose, why doesn’t he get to choose?”
“Yeah,” Sunny agreed. “Why not?”
Well, actually, nobody on this planet ever really chooses each other. I mean, it’s all a question of quantum physics, molecular attraction, and timing. Why, there are laws we don’t understand that bring us together and tear us apart. Uh, it’s like pheromones. You get three ants together, they can’t do dick. You get 300 million of them, they can build a cathedral.
“I can’t see Dawn McGill ever saying anything like that,” observed Sunny, based on past experience with her.
The movie continued, and LaLoosh, eager to cut to the chase, blurted out his next line.
“So is somebody going to go to bed with somebody or what?”
A laugh burst from Sunny’s lips, the sound echoing around the otherwise quiet hotel room. “Yeah, that sounds like Drew,” she said, shaking her head and grinning as she thought of her young protégé. “Always in a hurry to get on with it,” she muttered under her breath, taking another swig of her drink and letting herself sink deeper into the soft mattress. Her eyes never left the screen, her mind churning with thoughts of how to guide Drew through his own metaphorical spring training in the wrestling world. After all, she knew he had the raw talent – it was just a matter of refining it and teaching him to harness his energy for the greater good.
But for now, Sunny let herself get lost in the adventures of Annie, Crash, and Nuke, knowing that tomorrow would bring another day of hard work and tough lessons. And maybe, just maybe, Drew would be one step closer to becoming the wrestler she knew he could be.
Crash gets up to leave.
“Oh, where are you going?”
“After 12 years in the minor leagues, I don’t try out. Besides, uh, I don’t believe in quantum physics when it comes to matters of the heart.”
Meanwhile, across US 41 on the other side of the street…
Tuesday November 22nd- Super 8 Hotel- Terre Haute, Indiana
The neon lights of the Super 8 hotel flickered in the night on the western outskirts of Terre Haute. The air was cool and crisp as Drew Mitchell pulled his car into a parking spot outside room 129. He glanced around, ensuring he wasn’t being watched, and stepped out of his vehicle.
Drew slicked back his hair, adjusted his leather jacket, and approached the door to room 129. His hands trembled with anticipation as he slid the keycard into the lock. The tiny light turned green with a faint click, and he pushed the door open.
Drew stepped into the room.
His eyes widened with shock at the sight before him.
Dawn McGill lay before him, temptingly spread out on the bed like a sacrificial offering as on either side of the bed her wrists were bound by handcuffs to both posts. Her body was swathed in wrapping paper from mid-thigh up to just above her delicious breasts, and a bright red bow sat atop her luscious, blonde hair like an impish tiara. Her face was perfectly made up, adding intensity and mystery to her gaze, with bold red lipstick accentuating her full lips and matching nail polish on her fingers and toes. The air around them was thick with her perfume – a musky mix laced with the sweet scent of roses, setting an erotic atmosphere for their encounter.
“Congrats on your HOW win, Drew,” she purred as he approached the bed cautiously, her voice low and inviting. “I’ve got a little present for you.” She gestured towards herself suggestively with her cuffed hands with a sultry smile playing on her lips.
“Is that so?” He replied, feeling his heart race as he neared her shrouded figure. His gaze traveled over every inch of her body that was revealed by the thin wrapping paper – calling out to him like a Siren’s song, begging to be unwrapped.
“Come on then,” she taunted him teasingly, biting down on her lip in anticipation. “I think it’s time you unwrap your prize.”
Drew climbed onto the bed, his eyes widening at the sight before him. Dawn lay beneath him, her wrists handcuffed to the headboard. His hands hovered over the wrapping paper and with deliberate slowness, he began to tear open his ‘present,’ revealing Dawn’s tantalizing red negligee that barely concealed her curves, the low neckline revealing a generous amount of cleavage and the short hem teasing glimpses of what lay beneath.
“Christ,” Drew whispered, his breath hitching as he took in the sight of her.
The dim light in the room cast sultry shadows across Dawn’s body, as she lay sprawled out before him like a feast for the senses. Drew could feel his pulse quicken as he gazed upon her, his eyes hungrily taking in every detail – the way the red negligee highlighted her alluring curves and the soft glow of her skin bound by metal restraints.
“Ready to enjoy your prize?” Dawn asked with a smoldering grin, the seductive tone in her voice sending shivers down Drew’s spine. He couldn’t help but let his mind wander to what was about to unfold between them…