September 27, 2020
FOR SHOW: Refueled XLI
…One of his numerous stints in Germany was represented on the wall as well. Kevin pulled on his right foot; pushing his heel on to his glutes as he gazed at the advertisement of his battle with the Godfather of wrestling in Germany.
RINGKAMPF FÖDERATION VON DEUTSCHLAND
Pate des Deutsch Ringkampf – J VON FEUER VS KEVIN CAPONE – Amerikanischen Superstar
Samstag 15. Oktober 2005 um 07.30 Uhr
WESERSTADION IN BREMEN – Kapazität: 42,500 Personen
That was only one of their many encounters but what made that night special was the fans actually cheered for Kevin Capone, the foreigner, and of course the huge crowd the event drew…
Capone picked up the phone on his office desk and immediately began to speak, “Ich muss dir einen Besuch abstatten.”
“Verdammt, mach es dann!”
A colonial estate. The gargantuan columns are peeling; the current bright-white paint chipping, revealing the off-white paint beneath it and the eggshell-white paint beneath that. The windows are each a gradient of blur, all opaque. The brick stairs leading to the front door seemed to be a crapshoot to climb, with many gaps from missing steps and others on the verge of collapsing. The abundance of green moss on the roof was a stark contrast to yellowing, white paint on the house. Capone dressed to the nines, with an ensemble that featured a custom-made navy-blue suit, white collared shirt, and burnt orange silk tie to go along with mocha-colored Ferragamo loafers stepped up to the front of the mansion.
Kevin gingerly went up the stairs, both as a result of their condition and his, after his match at Bottomline. He stepped up to the all-encompassing mahogany front doors and rang the doorbell beside it before tugging his tie meticulously into position. After what seemed like forever listening to a cacophony of cicadas and birds chirping, the large barriers to entry swung open and a hobbled-over, older man well into his later years was waiting inside. Though hunched, he was near the 6’4’’ Capone in height and outweighed him by several pounds. His attire of white tank top and beige slacks notwithstanding, he had a presence that rivaled Capone’s, despite his age.
Kevin’s lips curved up into a smile and he extended his hand. The old-timer’s slow traveling, shaky hands eventually met Capone’s like a feather in the wind, as if they hadn’t even touched. The elder statesman’s lips curled up into a smile of their own. He then proceeded to slam shut the door behind them.
The maid finished pouring each a cup of tea and retreated to the inside of the large house, leaving the two companions to be, seated on the back patio. Acres and acres of green land to behold, but the elder had his eyes on something else.
“Ringen sie mit diesen dingen? (Do you wrestle with those things?)” asked the bitter-faced, old man, pointing at Capone’s designer shoes like they had the plague.
“Haha, nein (no) J Von,” Capone bobbed his shoulders before reciting the following words as if from the heart. “Saubere Stiefel bedeuten, dass ein Kerl es nicht tut… (Clean boots mean a guy doesn’t…)”
“Arbeite gerne (Like to work)” they both finished in unison, Kevin swaying his head in synchronization with the words.
“Gut, du erinnerst dich noch (Good, you still remember),” J Von leaned forward patting Kevin on the knee.
J Von Feuer was a sort of “Godfather” of wrestling in Germany. He was a well-read man who could talk about topics from geopolitics to the American Revolution, but when he had a fellow grappler at his disposal, wrestling was never a far off topic. Because that is what he was still, a wrestler. A wrestler’s wrestler at that, in spite of the 3 strands of white hair left on his comb over.
Capone nodded in affirmation and waited for J Von Feuer to continue speaking. After all, he was the “Champ.” It was his conversation to lead.
“Wie läuft es da drüben in den Staaten? (So how are things going over there in the States?)” Feuer asked, cautiously leaning back into his presidential, high back chair.
“Könnte besser sein (Could be better),” Kevin replied while unbuttoning his suit jacket. He locked his fingers, placed his hands behind his head, looked up and let out a deep sigh.
The German grappler’s eyes-popped and nostrils flared as he immediately lunged forward, “Ich habe dir gesagt, wenn einer dieser Promoter nicht zahlt, nimm eine verdammte Waffe… (I told you, if one of these promoters doesn’t pay, take a fucking gun…”
“Nein, nein, das ist es nicht (No, no, that’s not it),” Capone propped up and held the old-timer’s hands, realizing he was legitimately hot.
“Erinnerst du dich nach all unseren Kämpfen, bei denen du zweifellos der Headliner warst, das erste Mal, als die Fans mich tatsächlich jubelte mir zu? (You remember after all our battles, where no doubt you were the headliner, the first time the fans actually cheered me?)”
“Ich war damals ein alter altersschwacher Mann, natürlich erinnere ich mich nicht (I was an old, decrepit man then, of course I don’t remember.)”
Kevin’s lip curled on one side. Same old J Von Feuer.
“Äh, was ist das? Als Kind nie umarmt, willst du etwas Liebe? (Aww, what is it? Never hugged as a child, you want some love?)” the old-timer blew kisses Capone’s way, before his head tilted back, bellowing in laughter.
“Das ist es auch nicht. (It’s not that either.)”
J Von Feuer slid to the edge of his seat at his fastest pace and looked Capone right in the eye, “ Verdammt! Dann was (Damn it! What then?)”
“Ich bin jetzt du. (I’m you now.)”
J Von Feuer squinted his aged eyes more than his impaired vision required. Capone pierced his lips. The old-timer paused…and paused. Finally giving birth to that pregnant pause…
“Was? Du bist endlich ein Headliner in deinem Revier? (What? You’re finally a headliner in your territory?)”
Capone fell back in his seat and bobbed his shoulders again, while chuckling. He licked his lips.
“Ich meine, ich habe schon bessere Tage gesehen. Einige dieser Top-Jungs sind nicht einmal viel älter als ich. Aber sie schaffen es an der Spitze unseres Sports. (I mean I’ve seen better days. Some of these top guys aren’t even that much older than me. But they are making it at the pinnacle of our sport.)”
J Von Feuer’s expression was of furrowed brows, tilted head, and mouth full of ass. Utter disgust. The elder statesman spit on the ground beside him. Kevin shrugged his shoulders and let out a gasp. Capone knew the distaste Feuer had at such a suggestion.
“Look, we, you did great things here. But to those in the states…Fuck it, let’s just say it. To those in HOW, that doesn’t mean shit. And I happen to agree with them.”
Feuer ever-so slowly slanted his head, not because Capone addressed him in English, which J Von actually understood…
“Was sagst du? (What are you saying?)” The old man asked, his eyes blinking incessantly, the insinuation that what he did in Germany over many generations didn’t mean anything, being a downright insult.
“Look, J Von, you have etched an amazing legacy here that is without rebuke. You’ve won countless titles. You were Germany’s World Champion for longer than I’ve been alive. You’ve battled them all. Giants, big-name attractions, you name it. There isn’t anything you haven’t done…But there is a whole other world out there. Namely, High Octane Wrestling. And if it didn’t happen on their television, it isn’t canon…And I’m drinking the kool-aid. I need to make a name for myself in their hallowed halls.”
Kevin Capone stood up, buttoned his suit jacket while Feuer looked on in disbelief. Capone walked over, kissed the old man on the forehead and hugged him, the elder grappler never once moving. Kevin theatrically stuck out his hand for J Von to shake.
“We were rivals for a long time while you could make money with me,” Kevin quipped with a sincere smile, his pearly whites as symmetrical as every crevasse on his chiseled physique. “How about we simply be friends and have fun. You can still have fun can’t you? You know, I can still accommodate.”
“Sitzen deinen Arsch dow (Sit your ass down),” Feuer flagged Capone down with a forceful wave of his hand. “Sie sind nicht hergekommen, um Witze über erektile Dysfunktion zu machen und mit mir Schluss zu machen, oder? (You didn’t come all the way over here to make erectile dysfunction jokes and break up with me, did you?)”
Capone obliged without so much as a hiss. J Von’s words sank into Kevin’s heart as fast Capone into his seat, face already in his palms. His posture so bent his tie was touching the floor.
“Du willst wissen, was zu tun ist, wenn du ich geworden bist, oder? Wenn du nicht mehr mit deinen Kollegen mithalten kannst? (You want to know what to do when you’ve become me, right? When you can’t seem to keep up with your peers anymore?)”
Kevin looked up in desperate anticipation. J Von Feuer inclined his position, his green, menacing reptilian eyes a reminder of the aura he still possessed.
“Ich gebe Bescheid, wenn ich es herausgefunden habe. (I’ll let you know when I figure it out.)”
The German legend gave Kevin a light tap on the face. Capone’s face looked like it had been hit by a ton of rocks. He gazed into the air, empty, as if he were a ghost.
Wer sagt, dass es eine Antwort gibt? Ich habe nie einen gefunden. Aber ich hing auch zu lange und Sie wahrscheinlich zu haben. (Who says there is an answer? I never found one. But I also hung on too long and you probably have too.)”
Now Capone was the one with the taste of ass in his mouth. Feuer cackled and nudged Capone.
“You old cunt,” Kevin side-eyed and gave half a smile.
“Sie wollen sich in ihren heiligen Hallen einen Namen machen? Sorgen Sie sich um Ihren nächsten Gegner. Du bist nur so gut wie dein letztes Match. Konzentriere dich darauf. Erzählen Sie mir, wem Sie diese Woche gegenüberstehen? (You want to make a name for yourself in their hallowed halls? Worry about your next opponent. You’re only as good as your last match. Focus on that. Tell me about who you’re facing this week?)”
“Cancer Jiles. Former HOW Tag-Team Champion. Former HOW World Champion.”
“Klingt, als würdest du diesen Jiles respektieren? (Sounds like you respect this Jiles?)”
“I lost the match to Jace Parker Davidson for the HOTv Title because he was better than me that night. It was a lesson for me. Never give an opponent too much respect. I believe to this day had I just come at JPD full throttle, I would have won the HOTv belt. But I did learn from my mistake. I had so much respect for Jace. I mean he’s a former multiple time HOW World and LSD Champion, and current HOTv Champ. That changed the way I approached the match. It took me off my game. I thought he was better than he really was. I’ve thought about that close loss a lot. I’ve thought about my most recent…”
Capone paused and looked over at J Von Feuer who was listening intently. There was no way he was telling the old man he had just lost to Daytona, a woman. It wouldn’t compute in the old timer’s head. Kevin sighed and continued.
“Look, I just thought about it a lot and I finally realized that I’m never going to win the biggest prizes by showing that kind of respect to any opponent again. Not ever. For Cancer Jiles to get my respect, he’ll have to fucking beat it out of me. That’s the only way he’ll get it. Former HOW World Champion or not.”
Feuer smirked a pleasing grin, “Vielleicht gibt es noch Hoffnung für dich. (Maybe there is hope for you yet.)”
Capone leaned into this chair, absorbing the exterior of J Von Feuer’s estate one last time.
“I don’t know.”