Banana Skin

Banana Skin

Posted on May 8, 2024 at 2:12 pm by John Sektor

The day after Chaos 62

After defeating Ward and Carey in their match, Solex and Sektor hit the streets of Chicago ready to party. They got into a few fights, almost literally painting the town red with their wild antics. As the sun rose, they finally crashed at their hotel, celebrating not only their victory but also the start of a special friendship. For Sektor, having someone he could count on was a valuable asset, and simply having another man around to unwind with was a refreshing change.

But their celebration was cut short when they learned about their upcoming matches for next week’s event. Sektor would have to defend his HOTv championship against newcomer Lexi Gold, which didn’t bother him too much. However, Solex was scheduled for a tag team match with Mike Best as his partner against Silent Witness and Drew Mitchell – not Sektor. This news troubled him more than anything else.

Sektor slumped in a secluded corner of the hotel bar, his eyes staring blankly at the glowing screen of his laptop. The comforting aroma of freshly brewed coffee drifted from the steaming cup in front of him, but he barely noticed. His thoughts were consumed by the upcoming tag team match with Mike partnering Solex.

It didn’t sit right with him. It wasn’t necessarily a betrayal, as Steve had no control over match bookings, and Mike was technically a part of their group. But there was an unsettling feeling in his gut about it all.

Was he jealous? He scoffed at the thought. At his age, such petty emotions should be long gone. No, what truly worried him was Mike’s potential influence. As a master manipulator, there was no telling what poison he may whisper into Solex’s ear or even try to turn him against Sektor himself. But why? What had Sektor done to provoke such actions?

Paranoia seeped into his mind once again, clouding his thoughts with baseless fears. And yet, he couldn’t shake the unease gnawing at him.

Solex could sense Sektor’s unease as they prepared for their upcoming matches. Though he tried to hide it, Sektor’s brooding over Mike teaming with Solex was evident. Solex understood Sektor’s concerns, but he also knew this was an opportunity. If he could get on Mike’s good side, it would strengthen their alliance overall.

Sektor’s laptop screen suddenly lit up with an incoming zoom call. With a sigh, he recognized the name and knew he had to answer it – after all, that was the whole reason he was in front of the laptop.

“Hi Joe,” Sektor greeted half-heartedly as Joe Bergman’s face appeared on the screen.

“How’s it going, John?” Joe asked out of courtesy more than anything.

“Oh, you know me, amigo. I’m always great,” he laughed sarcastically. “How’s my girl doing?” he continued, referring to his apprentice, Eve.

Joe raised his eyebrows and filled his lungs with air as though he had a lot to say on the subject.

Well, she’s an intense trainer, I’ll say that much,” he began.

Sektor raised an eyebrow and smirked. “You surprised?”

“No,” he sighed. “What is surprising is a rookie who has only been with us a few weeks attacking another talent in the main event of one of our shows.”

Sektor’s smile broadened, he couldn’t help it.

“Yeah, I heard what she did to Stevens’ daughter,” he admitted.

“Well I’d ask you to elaborate but that smile on your face tells me all I need to know,” Bergman said sharply, letting Sektor know that he wasn’t pleased about the situation.

Sektor chuckled and took a sip of his coffee. Eve’s actions proved she was embracing the ruthless attitude he wanted to instill in her. But he knew Joe wouldn’t approve.

“She got your attention didn’t she?” he asked.

“That’s the wrong kind of attention, John.”

“Look Joe, the girl’s got talent and drive. Maybe she’s a bit unpolished but that kind of fire is exactly what we need around here. I’ll keep working with her,” Sektor said.

Joe sighed. “I know you see potential in her. But we can’t have trainees attacking talent, contracted or not. There need to be consequences.”

Sektor’s smile faded. He didn’t like the sound of that.

“What exactly do you have in mind?” he asked carefully.

“Well, I was thinking about suspending her. But given that she is still very new, and because of the respect I have for you as her trainer, I was hoping you could just talk to her. Rein her in a bit.”

Sektor sat back in his seat and stroked his moustache as he mulled it over. He then had an uneasy look on his face.

“Thing is, Joe, the whole reason I sent her to you guys was so she could find her feet. She needs to figure out who she is, or who she wants to be. She can’t do that if I’m pulling her strings,” he explained.

“John, it’s your duty as her trainer to mould her -”

“Don’t tell me how to train my fucking student, Joe!” Sektor snapped, pointing a finger towards the webcam.

Joe sighed once again and looked down, looking like a man who was fighting a losing battle.

“Look, you want consequences? Book her in a match against the Stevens girl,” Sektor suggested.

“That’s not happening,” Joe replied bluntly.

“Then just book her a fucking match. Jesus Christ, she did what she did but she’s frustrated and tired of sitting around with her thumb up her ass waiting for a match.”

Joe seemed to mull this over, but didn’t look too comfortable.

Man, your wrestlers are big boys and girls. You know how this shit works. Let her channel that aggression in the ring.”

“Fine! I’ll book her for this Saturday. Kyla Davenport needs an opponent, should be a tough test for her. Winner face either Bethany Stewart or Ninja Kitty on Sunday.”

“Well you said a bunch of names that I do not know, but alright,” Sektor smiled, pleased that he had gotten what he wanted.

“We’ll be in Chicago. Perhaps you might consider being in her corner?”

“We’ll see.”

Joe just nodded, respecting Sektor’s style of coaching enough not to question it.

“Shall I give her the good news or do you want to?” he asked.

“I think it looks better coming from you, Joe. Could you also pass on a message for me?”

Sure.”

“Tell her I’m defending against Lexi Gold this week. Tell her I expect her to watch closely and take notes.”

“You got it. Pleasure talking to you, as always, John,” Berman sarcastically replied.

Sektor merely gave him a nod and hung up the call. He leaned back in his chair, thinking over the conversation with Joe. He could understand Bergman’s concerns, but also knew Eve needed to find her own way in the business. Still, he would keep a close eye on her in Chicago to ensure things didn’t get too out of hand.

In the meantime, he had his own match to focus on against Lexi Gold. A talented up-and-comer trying to make a name for herself against the established veteran Sektor. He smirked, knowing the experience and size advantage was clearly in his favour.

Sektor’s thoughts drifted to his partner Solex, now teaming with Mike. He pushed down the unease once again, trying to convince himself it was nothing to worry about. Mike was just doing business, looking for opportunities the same as anyone.

A notification from his computer brought Sektor back to reality. A smile spread across his face when he saw his daughter’s name on the caller ID.

“Hey kiddo! How have you been? I’ve missed you so much,” he said warmly, happy to see her face on the screen.

“I’ve missed you too. When are you coming back home?” she asked eagerly.

Sektor’s expression fell as a wave of guilt washed over him. Amidst all the partying and his own worries and concerns, he had forgotten to tell his daughter that he wouldn’t be returning home this week.

“Yeah, about that-“

Chloe’s face contorted in disappointment, as if she had already anticipated it before making the call.

No,” she moaned. “You promised!”

“I know I did, and I want to. But thing is, I have a title defence this week and it just doesn’t make sense to waste time travelling when I need to be training,” he tried to explain.

“Waste time? Is that what I am to you? A waste of your time?” she sobbed angrily.

Sektor gritted his teeth, angry with himself for his poor selection of words.

“Of course not, you know that’s not what I meant. And before you start, I’m not saying this championship is more important than you, or that wrestling is more important than you. But I have to prioritise at the right times, and right now I need to be here. You understand that, don’t you?” he asked, more out of hope than anything else.

Chloe looked away, tears streaming down her cheeks. Sektor felt his heart break seeing his daughter so upset.

“Chloe, please look at me,” he said gently. After a moment, her teary eyes met his through the screen.

“I know how hard this is for you. Believe me, being away from you is the hardest part of this job for me. I wish I could be there with you right now more than anything.”

Chloe sniffled, but she was listening intently.

“But this is my dream – it’s all I’ve wanted since I was a kid your age. And to achieve that dream, it means I have to sacrifice time away from the people I love.”

Sektor paused, considering his next words carefully. “One day when you have a dream of your own, you’ll understand that kind of sacrifice. But it doesn’t mean you’ll be any less important to me.”

Chloe’s head bowed.

“I get it,” she reluctantly replied.

“You do?”

“Yeah. But that doesn’t mean I like it,” she added, wiping away her tears.

Sektor smiled warmly.

“I don’t expect you to. But listen, I know how I can make it up to you,” he added, feeling good about himself.

Chloe’s eyes lit up as he dangled hope in front of her like candy.

“Eve has her debut match in MVW on Saturday. What say I fly you out here and we go catch the show together?”

Really?” she gushed excitedly.

“Yeah. Then afterwards we can head back home together. What d’ya say?”

“Awesome!”

“Great,” he smiled, banging his fist lightly on the table. “Now, I’ve had enough wrestling talk. I wanna hear what you’ve been up to. How’s school?”

“Well, I do have this science project coming up,” she began to explain.

Sektor leaned in to try and let her know that she had his full attention.

“Tell me all about it.”

“Well, we’re learning about different forces and how they act on different objects. So I’m planning to -”

“Oh, hold that thought for a second kiddo, I gotta take this,” he said, noticing his phone vibrating.

Chloe’s shoulders sagged as he picked up his phone and held it to his ear, smiling from ear to ear.

“Eyyy Swole! What’s going on, hermano?”

As Sektor talked and laughed on the phone with Solex, he neglected to notice how impatient his daughter was growing with him. After five minutes had passed by he finally finished the call, still smiling. His smile, however, quickly evaporated when he looked at the blank screen on the laptop.

Chloe had gone.

“Fuck.”

———————————————————————————————————————

The eve of Chaos 63

Sektor waited outside the convention room in Chicago, face like thunder as he would rather be in a thousand different places than where he was. He was dressed immaculately, yet vibrantly, in a bright red suit which was pattered with multicoloured leaves of blues, greens and golds. Over his shoulder was his HOTv championship, freshly polished and sparkling under the lights.

“You ready boss?” asked one of the EPU agent’s who was escorting him.

“No. I fucking hate these things,” he spat.

“Then why do’em?”

“Because Lee asked me to, that’s why. He’s trying to undo the damage caused by useless prick Jace. So now I have to go into that room and sign photographs and t-shirts like every other peasant in this company, trying to convince them to buy tickets to come see me stomp a hole in Lexi fucking Gold. Because no one want’s to see that. It’s a fucking mis-match.”

Hm,” the agent muttered.

“Let’s just get this shit over with,” he sighed, adjusting the title on his shoulder.

The two EPU agents opened the double doors to the convention room and escorted the champion. He was greeted by a thunder of cheers and applause as put on his game face and smiled at the masses of fans who had arrived to meet him. He waved and nodded graciously as he walked towards his booth to the sound of his own name being chanted.

Sektor sat down at the booth, still smiling and waving at the excited fans. Despite his earlier misgivings, he had to admit it felt good to be admired. As the line of people eagerly waiting to meet him began to shuffle forward, Sektor leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath.

The first few fans were predictable – starry-eyed kids wanting autographs, shy teenagers hoping for a selfie. Sektor obliged them all graciously. Then came the die-hard adult fans who wanted to talk wrestling and debate Sektor on his upcoming match.

“Lexi doesn’t stand a chance against you!” one middle-aged man declared. “You’re going to destroy her.”

Sektor grinned. “You know it. That belt is mine, and no one’s taking it from me.”

This was the ego boost he had needed. The day was looking up.

“I hope you make that bitch bleed!”

Sektor’s brow suddenly inverted as he found himself glaring at the man intensely. The man’s face quickly drained to a milky white as he realised he’d done something to upset the intimidating figure sat in front of him.

“You’d enjoy that? Watching me, a big strong man, beating a 145lb woman into a bloody pulp?”

He cocked his head to the side as he squinted his eyes to study the man intensely. The man’s mouth quivered as he gawked at the HOTv champion nervously.

“Perhaps you want me to do what you’d like to do to your woman, right?”

“No of course not, I would never -”

“NO, right! Who the fuck would go near you? Look at you. You’re a fucking mess,” he snarled, curling his lip in disgust as he looked the man up and down.

The man appeared to be visibly upset and scared as he cowered in front of Sektor. A man who was waiting behind with his daughter had already left the line, having heard the conversation.

“Listen to me. I will do whatever I have to do to Lexi to get the job done tomorrow night. But I will ONLY do what I have to.”

“I’m-I’m so-sorry. I just got over excited, I didn’t mean anything by it,” pleaded the fan.

Sektor kept the same intense look on his face as he waved him away dismissively.

“C-can I at least get a picture with you?”

“You fucking kidding me? No!”

He watched angrily as the man skulled off, turning and smiling as a young girl stood in front of him with her father.

“Heyyy princess, what’s your name?” he asked warmly, trying to use the communication skills he tried with his own daughter.

“Lori,” she said nervously.

“Well that’s a cool name. And how old are ya sweetheart?”

“Eleven.”

“Wow, that’s old. You know I got a daughter who’s about your age. She’s twelve.”

Lori smiled as he made small talk with her, watching as he began to scribble a short message and a signature on a photograph of himself.

“You looking forward to the match tomorrow night Lori?” he asked.

“Oh yeah!” she said excitedly. “But-”

She stopped herself from continuing and looked to her Dad for support. Sektor noticed this and wanted to reassure her.

“It’s okay, kid. Speak your mind. I don’t bite. Not unless you’re that guy,” he laughed, gesturing with his thumb in the direction the last fan walked away. “What where you going to say.”

“Well, I hope Lexi wins,” she admitted, clutching her fathers hand tightly.

Sektor leaned back in his seat, raising his eyebrows and smiling calmly.

“You do, huh?”

“Yeah. I mean I think you’re great and all, but I love Lexi. I want to be just like her some day,” she admitted, beaming from ear to ear.

Sektor glanced up at her father, who responded with a dismissive eye roll. H

e understood his sentiments; the world of wrestling was not exactly what he envisioned for his daughter’s future. However, he also wouldn’t stand in her way if it was truly her passion.

“Well I admire your honesty, Lori. I’m not offended. You’re free to support whoever you want to support.”

“I just think it would be cool to have a female champion,” she added.

Sektor nodded.

“And I agree. It’s certainly been a minute since we had one in HOW. In fact, I think we need more women wrestlers. As it so happens, I’m training one right now. Her name’s Eve and my hope is that one day she will be the female John Sektor. Who knows? Maybe some day she will be sitting where I’m sitting and holding this belt,” he said, tapping his pen on the championship at the front of the table.

Lori smiled again, just happy to talking to the Legendary John Sektor.

“But I’m sorry to disappoint you, princess. I don’t think Lexi Gold is going to be the one to take this championship from me. See, I’m much more experienced than she is. I’ve been in thousands of matches, and hundreds of championship matches. I’ve beaten the best wrestlers past and present. And this championship right here? We’re making history together, and it’s going to take something pretty special to put an end to that.”

Sektor’s heart ached as he saw a hint of sadness appear on her face. As a father himself, he couldn’t bear the thought of causing any distress to children.

“But I tell you what. My hope is that Lexi shows up tomorrow night and brings her A -game. I want her to throw her heart and her soul into this championship opportunity and give me everything she’s got. Because that way, win or lose she will have achieved something.”

Lori smiled at him as he said this.

“Your job, as her biggest fan, is to make sure you’re in that crowd tomorrow night and cheering her on. She’s gonna need all the support she can get to feed off that energy. And I believe, we still have some unsold tickets,” he smirked, raising his eyebrow at her father.

“Can we go, Dad. Please?” she begged, yanking on her fathers arm.

Sektor’s father shot him a knowing glance, and Sektor simply smirked back. He knew he had just manipulated his father into buying tickets for them.

“We’ll see,” he told her, giving Sektor a nod.

“Come on, let’s get a picture,” Sektor said, ushering her around the desk.

Lori stood next to him, beaming proudly as he draped the HOTv championship over her nimble frame. She almost buckled from the weight of it as he dropped it on her shoulder. He then sat down next to her side and put an arm around her, resting his hand on the desk whilst her father lined up a photograph.

“Notice the hand placement, Dad, not touching,” he said to her father, not wanting to be accused of anything. There was a brief moment in his life when he was falsely accused of some things. The words ‘amber alert’ got tossed around but his lawyers quickly squashed it.

The father smiled and took a few pictures of Lori and Sektor. After thanking Sektor, Lori skipped happily away, championship belt still draped over her shoulder.

Sektor watched them leave, glad he was able to turn an awkward situation with a fan into a positive experience for a young girl. Though the championship meant everything to him, moments like that reminded him there were more important things in life.

Still, he had a job to do and a championship to defend. Lexi Gold may have potential, but in his eyes she was unworthy of a championship. Everything he had done with the HOTv championship and everyone he had beaten would mean nothing if he lost it to her at Chaos 63. She was a potential banana skin..

..and he didn’t want to slip.