Wintrust Arena – Chicago, IL
Sunday December 19th
Missouri Valley Wrestling’s Evening of Champions Pay Per View
The Wintrust Arena in Chicago’s Near South Side community area is just about full to capacity tonight. Over eight thousand people are at the show, easily the best attendance in MVW’s history. The arena, previously known as the DePaul Arena or McCormick Place Events Center, is a 10,387 seat sports venue that opened in 2017. The arena serves as the current home court for DePaul University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and as an events center for McCormick Place.
One reason for the boost in attendance tonight- the presence of HOW’s LSD Champion John Sektor. It seems with HOW out of the country and absent from the Best Arena in Chicago since September, HOW fans in the area are starving for live HOW action- even if it’s just a glimpse of the Gold Standard of HOW.
Of course, it also doesn’t hurt when Sektor’s opponent at ICONIC also happens to be in the building.
The fourth match of the show is under way- ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson versus Sektor’s protégée Adam Ellis inside a steel cage. Dickinson has a little bit of business to take care of before he flies to London- a grudge match where Ellis looks for some payback to avenge the multiple times Dickinson has powerbombed him in the past several weeks while Dickinson looks to get some momentum going heading towards ICONIC.
It’s late in the match now…
The camera shot is on the broadcast table where MVW’s broadcast team of Thunderbolt Smith and ‘Long Haul’ Rick Hall are in the middle of calling the match.
Thunderbolt Smith: …again, Thunderbolt Smith here with ‘Long Haul’ Rick Hall, bringing you all the action here tonight at MVW’s Evening of Champions. Rick, this match has been a hard-hitting affair.
The HOTV camera cuts back to the ring. Ellis has a nasty cut over his eye. Dickinson’s face is pock marked with welts and a smaller cut on his forehead.
Both men aren’t moving all that fast- well, Dickinson didn’t move all that fast to begin with but he’s noticeably even slower now.
Rick Hall: That’s right Thunderbolt. Both Dickinson and Ellis have been busted open from their faces repeatedly being driven into the side of the unforgiving steel cage.
Thunderbolt Smith: Adam Ellis came in here with something to prove to Bill Dickinson and he’s shown a ton of heart here tonight. He’s matched Dickinson step by step tonight, move by move, and punch by punch.
Rick Hall: Bill Dickinson said a couple weeks back he was tired of watching Adam Ellis step into the ring with him… and I quote… all do-ey eyed. I can assure you, the Adam Ellis who showed up tonight is anything but that. He came to the ring to make a big time statement here tonight and that’s exactly what he’s done.
Quick close up on John Sektor. He’s leaning up against the ring apron and not happy. He glares at Referee Davey Keels who has Ellis in the corner and checks out the cut over the eye.
Thunderbolt Smith: Davey Keels may stop this.
Rick Hall: Ellis is telling him not to.
The young twenty-one year old emphatically tells Keels he’s okay. Of course, John Sektor throws in his two cents as well.
Keels checks one more time and then waves to both men to restart the match.
Thunderbolt Smith: Okay, Davey’s going to let this continue.
Ellis charges forward. Dickinson sidesteps – grabs Ellis by the arm – shoots him into the ropes. Dickinson whips his right arm and swings his right elbow…
…right into the jaw of Adam Ellis. Sektor looks down on the outside as Ellis drops to the mat. Dickinson follows up with a lateral press.
Thunderbolt Smith: KICKOUT! ELLIS KICKED OUT!
The crowd pops. Everyone’s up on their feet.
Rick Hall: Wow. Listen to the biggest crowd in MVW history make a little noise.
Thunderbolt Smith: Adam Ellis caught that elbow flush to the jaw.
Rick Hall: He did Thunderbolt. Dickinson nailed him good but again, Adam Ellis fights out.
Ellis fights out but he’s woozy as all hell right now. Dickinson sees this and waits for Ellis to get back to a vertical base… a very unsteady vertical base.
Thunderbolt Smith: Dickinson’s just waiting.
Ellis shakes his head and locates Dickinson. With what little energy he has left, Ellis rears back and unleashes a wild right hand… and connects. Ellis hits a basement dropkick to the knee. Running on fumes, Ellis hops to the top rope and leaps, taking Dickinson by the head and bulldogging it down to the mat.
Thunderbolt Smith: HERE COMES ADAM ELLIS AGAIN!
Ellis hooks the leg.
Thunderbolt Smith: NO! Dickinson kicks out.
Just about everyone in the building is cheering for the youngster to pull off the upset.
Thunderbolt Smith: Ellis again going up top.
Ellis climbs up the turnbuckle.
Rick Hall: He’s definitely going for it!
Ellis dives and splashes Dickinson from the top rope.
Thunderbolt Smith: HE GOT IT!
Ellis hooks the leg.
Thunderbolt Smith: COVER!
TWO… KICK OUT!
Thunderbolt Smith: DICKINSON KICKS OUT AGAIN!
The youngster looks up at Keels who confirms that it was indeed a two count. But suddenly riding the crest of adrenalin, Ellis runs the ropes and comes back looking for a big right hand. Dickinson ducks under. He grabs a waistlock and turns and faces Ellis towards the ropes. Dickinson lifts and throws Ellis up and over…
Thunderbolt Smith: BELLY TO BELLY INTO THE SIDE OF THE STEEL CAGE!
Ellis hits the cage upside down and then crash lands very hard after bouncing off the top rope and tumbling to the mat.
Rick Hall: Thunderbolt, he hit that steel cage hard and landed even worse……
With Ellis lying half under the bottom rope and pretty much out of it, Dickinson methodically walks over and pulls him up. He places Ellis’s head between his legs and lifts the youngster up. He takes three steps forward and slams Ellis as hard as he can to the mat. No messing around tonight. No need to poke the bear (Sektor) at ringside and no need to push his luck with Adam Ellis. Dickinson knows the kid stepped up to the plate tonight so he goes right for the cover. Keels slides in to make the count. One. Two. Three. That’s it.
The bell sounds and the cage door is opened. The first one in is Dickinson’s valet ‘Texas Cowgirl’ Haley Dallas followed by Sektor. The Texas Cowgirl has seen her fair share of wrestling rings over the years and makes sure she situates herself in between Dickinson and Sektor to prevent any additional extracurricular stuff after the match. Dallas knows Dickinson’s on an ultra short leash and any trouble of any sort might cost him the dream match at ICONIC against Sektor.
But there’s no conflict tonight. Sektor breezes right past to go check on Ellis. Thankfully by the time Sektor reaches him, Ellis is sitting up and shaking off the cobwebs after taking the nasty spill on the belly to belly.
HOW alumna Kimber Marshall makes the final announcement from outside the cage and Keels raises Dickinson’s arm in victory, Bill starts to make his exit.
He looks over at Ellis as he’s being helped back to his feet and talking with Sektor. Dickinson knows he did what he had to do tonight- get the win. Now, a couple days to heal up and then fly to London to get ready for his battle with John Sektor next week. But Bill also knows Adam Ellis showed him a hell of a lot in defeat and Dickinson knows he’s been through a war.
Ellis makes eye contact with him.
There’s an awkward few seconds that pass.
Dickinson nods his head to acknowledge the kid’s effort tonight. Then the big man turns and leaves the cage with Haley Dallas.
* * *
Thursday December 22nd
Female Voice: Bill, you had a tough match this past Sunday at MVW’s Evening of Champions against Adam Ellis. Do you have any concerns about being ready to go this Sunday to take on the challenge of facing John Sektor at ICONIC?
The voice was a familiar one to Bill Dickinson. Her name is Kellie Burkowski. Missouri Valley Wrestling’s backstage interviewer since January 2020. Kellie’s first interview on the first show she appeared on television just happened to be with… you guessed it, Bill Dickinson. Just twenty-one years old and fresh out of college, Kellie never did get a question asked in her first interview segment. Basically, Dickinson told her to ‘stand there quietly and let him talk.’ Which he proceeded to do.
However, since then Bill’s warmed up a bit towards Kellie…
Bill Dickinson: Are you fucking kidding me?
…a little. Bill almost seems a little hurt by the question.
Bill Dickinson: Cmon, Kellie. You of all people should know me better than that.
Kellie does. But she’s learned over the last couple years how to fire it right back at Dickinson. She tussles her blond hair and grins.
Kellie Burkowski: Yes Bill. I do.
Bill Dickinson: Oh I’m ready all right. Adam Ellis came to wrestle tonight and all credit to him, he really pushed me hard during the match and I had to dig a little to keep up.
Kellie Burkowski: Did Ellis surprise you?
Bill Dickinson: Nah. I said before the kid had the goods. He just needed to show a little heart. He rose to the moment and battled like hell tonight. I think the kid has a future.
Kellie Burkowski: Did the one month break from wrestling hurt you?
Bill Dickinson: No. I will say this, in actuality Ray McAvay probably did me a big favor… no, a HUGE favor by suspending me.
Kellie Burkowski: He did.
Bill Dickinson: Oh hell yeah. I really did need to rest up for a spell. The last couple months have been a tough go. I was draggin’ a bit and resting at home for a few days probably did me some good.
Kellie Burkowski: Are you ready for this?
Bill Dickinson: Dammit I’m ready Kellie. I’ve never been more ready in my life. I can’t wait to do this.
High Octane Wrestling’s backstage interviewer Blaire Moise jumps into this. Dickinson and Blaire Moise were previously acquainted with each other back in the day when she spent a few months at MVW in the fall of 2019. Blaire, Joe Hoffman, Benny Newell, and other non-wrestling staff were surprisingly, and suddenly, let go and replaced with cheaper talent after Michael Lee Best gained 51% control of HOW in September 2019.
Blaire’s first MVW interaction with Bill Dickinson? Let’s go back in time…
(9/16/2019 Wrestling Night in the Heartland: Blaire Moise Interview with Bill Dickinson)
Blaire is outside Dickinson’s dressing room.
The door opens. The Southern Boys emerge. First, General DeBauchery. Next, ‘Dastardly’ Dave Miller. Then ‘Dangerous’ Dan Williams. Finally, ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson.
Blaire goes to interview him.
Blaire Moise: Bill-
Dickinson glares at her and just walks past her.
Of course, Dickinson’s frosty greeting- or lack there of- didn’t deter HOW’s intrepid backstage reporter back then and it doesn’t deter her now.
Blaire Moise: Hello Bill. Blaire Moise, HOTv.
Bill almost smiles… almost.
Bill Dickinson: Good to see ya again Blaire.
But at least Bill is in a better mood tonight than he was back in 2019.
Blaire Moise: You’ve said that besides the whole Adam Ellis thing, that your issue with John Sektor dates back to an appearance John made at a MVW house show in Evansville in 2019.
Bill Dickinson: Yes I did.
Blaire Moise: Why?
Bill Dickinson: We’all knew John was there to meet up with Joe Bergman… and that’s fine and all. I don’t think he really interacted with the guys backstage and… that’s fine. As he says, he didn’t think about the little shoving match we had after it happened… and that’s fine. I guess I didn’t care for… well, I reckon’ it was the whole attitude of his… the ‘I’m better than you’, ‘Mr. Bigshot’ thing that kinda set me off.
Kellie dips her head down as if she’s peering at him over a pair of imaginary glasses.
Kellie Burkowski: Attitude?
Dickinson opens his mouth to respond but Kellie continues.
Kellie Burkowski: Bill, you of all people, complaining about someone else’s attitude?
With a sheepish grin, Bill concedes the point by merely shrugging.
Blaire Moise: Bill, that’s just John Sektor being John Sektor. Like you, he is what he is. Just like you say you are what you are.
Bill Dickinson: Yeah. You’re probably right. But it ain’t just me. I thought he was disrespecting the folks there because, well, he was the hotshot wrassler from Chicago who graced us all with his presence.
Bill Dickinson I guess when you wrassle at this level like Johnny does, you tend to forget that there’s a bunch of folks down below who are workin’ their ass off hoping for a chance.
Blaire Moise: You made your chance.
Bill Dickinson: Yeah, you’re damn right I did. You can’t get the chance if you ain’t afraid to make the chance happen. I busted that door down and made this happen ‘cause it was the right time and the right situation for Bill Dickinson.
Blaire Moise: But Bill, you know the odds of you winning are not good. Say what you will about John Sektor, you can’t argue with the man’s talent and certainly not with what he’s accomplished.
Bill Dickinson: Oh hell, I know that. And John’s right, after this match, probably no one will hear about ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson again. If I lose, I ain’t gonna get, don’t really want a rematch. I’m good with that. I said it once, I’ll say it again. I ain’t afraid of losin’ to John Sektor. But I ain’t going to just going to be a deer in the headlights easy for him to shoot either. I know John Sektor is good. I know John Sektor’s damn good. But dammit, Blaire, I know I’m pretty damn good too. You know damn well once that bell sounds, I don’t give a damn who the hell you are, I’m gonna do everything I can to win the match. I ain’t gonna lay down for John Sektor. John’s gonna to have to beat me. John’s gonna have to pin me… one… two… three… or he’s gonna to have to put me to sleep ‘cause ain’t no way I’m tapping out to his finisher. Nope, he’s gonna have to knock me silly before that happens ‘cause I ain’t giving up no matter what.
Blaire Moise: Last question Bill. We all know that the heated rivalry between you and John Sektor has presented you with an exciting opportunity. We’ve heard the back and forth between you and John Sektor over the past few weeks. We know how this whole thing came about. But I’d like to try a different tack on this. Realistically Bill, this is it. This is probably your only shot at this. Let’s cut the bull for a second and I’d like to know what this opportunity means to you?
Bill leans forward. Elbows on the table. Chin propped up with his hands.
Bill Dickinson: It means I get to do something any wrassler in MVW and the other indies, wish for, work for, and fight for. Ya know, I remember that scene in the movie Bull Durham where Crash Davis sits on the bus and tells his teammates stories of life in ‘the show’ and how it was the best twenty-one days of his life. Well for one night, I’m living the dream that hundreds of folks would do anything to be in my place to experience. For one night, I get to go up against a world class wrassler. Blaire, this is what I’ve worked twenty years for. I’m gonna enjoy every moment of it and if it don’t work, ain’t gonna have any regrets because I got to do something that very few people in the wrasslin’ business get to do. Be here. Wrassle at the O2 Arena. Wrassle one of the best wrasslers on the planet.
Bill leans back in his chair and smiles.
Bill Dickinson: What it means Blaire, is for one night, Bill Dickinson is in ‘the show.’