Posted on March 3, 2022 at 6:13 pm by Drew Mitchell

Joseph Gentile Arena / Chicago, IL – Monday February 28th
Random Backstage Worker:
Hey Adam.  How’ve you been?

Backstage is always a busy place during a pro wrestling show and Missouri Valley Wrestling was no exception.

Adam Ellis: I’m good.  I’m good.  How about you?

Random Backstage Worker: Hanging in there.

Watching off by the opening leading to the stage, Adam Ellis watched with great interest the main event of the night- a Men’s Title match between his old foe ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson and the MVW Men’s Champion John O’Reilly.

Adam Ellis: In what universe is Bill Dickinson a babyface?

Note- following Dickinson’s performance at ICONIC in December, he returned to Missouri Valley Wrestling a hero to the locker room and as a bonafide face for the first time in his career.

Random Backstage Worker: Oh the fans love him now.

Ellis shrugs.  It was hard to separate the man who powerbombed three times after a match from the crowd favorite getting cheers.

Random Backstage Worker: Hey, gotta run and start getting things packed up.  Good seein’ you.

Adam Ellis: Good seeing you too.

Ellis nods as the worker leaves and goes back to what he was doing.

Late in the match, Dickinson blew up O’Reilly with his vaunted Southern Fried Powerbomb and it looked certain that he would finally win the belt for a second time, O’Reilly’s faction- aptly named the Dark Overlords of Wrestling- had other plans.  Long story short, The Dark Overlords of Wrestling climbed into the ring and attacked Dickinson.  The referee disqualified O’Reilly giving the win… but not the title… to Dickinson.

Adam Ellis: Holy crap.

Ellis watched as the beat down continued. Then he felt a breeze pass by him…

Adam Ellis: Huh?

…and he saw the figure of a man sprinting towards the ring with a steel folding chair.  The crowd roared as the man who Adam recognized was ‘Big Don’ Dickinson- aka Bill Dickinson’s younger brother- dived into the ring and introduced himself to the fray by swinging the chair at everything that moved.


He took out one man.


He took out another one.


He took out the third.

The noise level was deafening at this point. The manager of the Dark Overlords pulled the champion from the ring and hustled away from danger with Don Dickinson shouting at them to ‘come back.’

Female Voice: Boy.  Bill’s going to be really pissed off now.

Adam heard someone talking but it was hard to hear over the din.

Adam Ellis: Huh?

He felt someone move in close and speak right into his ear.


Ellis turned his head towards the source of the voice and jumped when he saw her face.

Adam Ellis: Tori?

Adam immediately tried to act a little cooler.

Adam Ellis: I mean… hey, how you doing Tori?

Grinning mischievously and drinking from a paper cup through a straw, Tori aka… Victoria McGill stood six foot two, only a couple inches shorter than Adam, almost eye to eye level with the six foot four Ellis.

Tori McGill: Great.  It was a really good show tonight. Can’t wait to see what Bill Dickinson does next.

Adam Ellis: Oh, I’m sure it’ll be interesting.

Tori McGill: What brings you here tonight?

Adam Ellis: Um…

The last time Adam encountered Tori?  At the MVW 6:05 show two weeks ago.  That was the night that Adam did a very nice thing for a father and son in getting an autograph from her.  As a very nervous Adam came up to her, for some strange reason he envisioned Tori dressed as slutty Olivia Newton-John in the carnival scene at the end of Grease and was inspired to spontaneously burst out into song- much to his eventual embarrassment afterwards.

Adam Ellis: …um… yeah, just hanging out.

In fact, Adam was still embarrassed about the whole thing.  Which he immediately attempted to rectify.

Adam Ellis: Yeah… sorry about that whole singing thing the other week.

Tori McGill: The singing thing the other week?

Tori politely smiled back while she tried to remember the ‘whole singing thing.’

Then it popped into her head and she re-envisioned the episode.

Tori McGill: Oh.  That.

She laughs which makes Adam feel even more awkward about the incident.

Tori McGill: Yeah, you’re fine.  It was funny.  Kind of dorky… but yeah, funny.

Adam Ellis: Okay.  Cool.

Adam smiled back at her.

She kept smiling at him.

They both stood there for what seemed to be an unterminated amount of time- waiting for the other to say something.

Adam grinned back… a little mawkishly but still, a grin.

Finally, Tori took the initiative.

Tori McGill: By the way, I thought that was a really nice thing you did the other week.  With the kid.  Getting him an autograph.

Adam Ellis: Thanks.  It’s nice to do something that’s… um… nice.

Tori McGill: Yeah.  It is.

Adam Ellis: Yeah.  Nice.

At that moment, Adam did feel like a complete dork.  He felt a little intimidated by the statuesque twenty-four year old blonde.  Even though dressed in ordinary casual attire, she looked like a Greek goddess to Adam.

What to say to her?   What to say?

A few more seconds of awkward silence followed.

Tori checked her cell phone.  She’d received a text from her mother Dawn McGill, sailing somewhere in the Caribbean with Rah and having a good time, telling her that she loved her and she’d see her soon.

Adam checked his phone.  He’d received a text from John Sektor earlier in the night.  His text was short and to the point telling Adam to ‘get his ass focused’ on Darin Zion and Xander Azula this Sunday.

Finally, after the Dark Overlords of Wrestling came stumbling through after being laid out by Don Dickinson’s lethal steel folding chair symphony, Adam noticed that Tori might be getting ready to move on.

So Adam blurted out something.

Adam Ellis: You beat Tessa Martin the other week.  To jump up into the Women’s Division?

Tori nodded in agreement.

Tori McGill: Oh yeah.  I really wanted to win that one and move up.

Adam Ellis: You did great.

Tori McGill: Thanks.  It doesn’t get any easier.  Now I’ve got to go through the likes of Libertie Bell and Kirsten Canfield… she’s a tough one… and of course, Lisa Barbosa-Stevens.  She’s great.

Adam Ellis: Nah.  You’ve got this.  You can do it.

Adam received a slight smile from Tori for the encouragement.

Tori McGill: Thanks.

Tori returned the favor.

Tori McGill: Well, what about you?  HOW.  How does it feel to be in the big show?

Adam gulped in some air before he responded.

Adam Ellis: Ummm… well… It’s been a hell of an adjustment.

Tori McGill: I’m sure.

Adam Ellis: It’s a lot to take in and I’m still getting used to it.

Tori McGill: Adam don’t worry, you never get used to it.

Adam Ellis: No?

Tori shakes her head now.

Tori McGill: Nope.  Not even at our level.  The constant traveling.  The press commitments.  Working out.  Always on the move.  Next weekend, we’re going to be in Columbia, Missouri and Springfield, Missouri.  It’s a job.  But I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t love it.

Adam Ellis:  Ah.  Yeah, I get that.  We’re going to be in Iowa City Sunday night. Big match.

Tori McGill: I know.  I saw that.

Adam Ellis: So I guess I’m doing okay.

Tori McGill: Doing okay?

Tori chuckles.

Tori McGill: Look Adam. I got a little taste of HOW when Ray McAvay took me to Japan for War Games last year. MVW’s a production.  HOW?  THAT’S a totally different thing.  I can see where it might be a little scary.  But don’t worry, you’re doing great.  Aren’t you wrestling in the semi-finals of the Maurako Cup Sunday?

Adam tipped his head one way and then another.

Adam Ellis: Yeah.

Tori McGill: You’re doing just fine.  Who are you wrestling?

Adam Ellis: Darin Zion and Xander Azula.

Tori snickered.  This again made Adam nervous.

Adam Ellis: What!

Tori McGill: Mom thinks Darin Zion is a complete putz.

Adam Ellis: Yeah…

Tori McGill: And isn’t Xander Azula the guy who kidnapped Zion’s girl, chained her to an altar as a sacrifice so some supernatural chick… what was her name… Gozer or something… could come back?

Adam Ellis: Actually, technically Gozer is neither a he or she and can appear in any form it chooses.

Adam received a blank stare from Tori in return.

Adam Ellis: I believe it was Eris from Discordia who Xander was trying to bring down.

Tori McGill: Oh. Well.  Good luck against them.

Tori checked her phone again.

Tori McGill: Listen, my ride is about here.  Do you need a lift somewhere or something?

Again, Adam tried to act all cool and such.

Adam Ellis: Oh… I’ve already got a ride lined up.

Tori nodded her head.

Tori McGill: Okay.  Well, it’s been good talking to you.  I’ll see you around.

And like an idiot, Adam kept the cool façade going.

Adam Ellis: Cool.  See you around.

Tori resituated the strap on the duffel bag slung over her shoulder and took another sip of her drink.  Then one last smile later, she began to walk off.

Ellis followed her with his eyes.  Tori headed for a group of people a few feet down the way.  He’d kind of blown it.  It was desperation time.  What could he do?


For some reason, Tori turned around and walked back over.  She pulled out a piece of paper and a pen.  She wrote on the piece of paper and handed it to Adam.

There was a flash off in the distance, like from a camera or something, but neither Adam or Tori gave it any mind.

Adam looked at the paper.  It was a phone number.

It was her cell phone.

Tori McGill: Look Adam, you’ve got a world of potential.  I know this business isn’t easy and how competitive it can be. I know it gets lonely out there sometimes and being on the road is a lot to process…  especially if you’re not used to it. I’ve been through enough of it to know it’s nice to be able to talk to someone… or just need to hear a friendly voice… or just need a friend

Tori winked at him.

Tori McGill: Call me… or text me sometime.

And with that, Tori turned and met up with her group.  He watched as they disappeared down the hall.

He looked down at the piece of paper with Tori’s handwritten cell phone number on it.



Now he had to find a ride back to the hotel.

Perhaps he should have taken Tori up on the offer.  Oh well.   Ellis pulled up Uber on his cell phone- totally oblivious to the photographer standing some thirty feet away reviewing the picture he’d just taken on the camera’s display.

It was a picture of Adam and Tori talking.

*            *            *

Darin Zion.

First I’m John Sektor’s pathetic trainee and then I’m a bright, young star.  So which is it?

Let’s get one thing straight.  Adam Ellis isn’t along for the ride.  Adam Ellis hasn’t come to High Octane Wrestling to play a bit part.  Adam Ellis came to HOW to learn how to be the best pro wrestler I can be.  For all of his faults, and I knew what they were going into this, John Sektor has been a good mentor to a wide-eyed kid from Missouri who still is finding his feet in the big-time wrestling world.  I’m learning the fine points of being a professional wrestler from someone who’s been there, who’s experienced just about everything you can experience inside a wrestling ring.

Is he perfect? Hell no.

But then again, is Adam Ellis perfect? Oh hell no.

But John hasn’t let me down and he’s given me no indication that he’s going to do something that would let me down.  Personally, I think John’s getting as much out of mentoring me and teaching me the wrestling business as I am learning from him.

So Darin, go for it.  Go ahead and try to make an example of us because I think you’re going to find that it’s a lot easier to say than to actually do.  Sunday night at Refueled 90, you’re going to get exactly what you wanted.

You and Xander versus Sektor and Ellis in the semi-finals of the Maurako Cup.

One win away from a possible tag team title.

Darin, just between you and me I really like our chances here.

You see, we faced three really good teams in our group: The Pro Wrestling: Assault team, Scott Stevens and the Black Mamba, and Steve Solex and Clay Byrd.   With John’s knee on the mend, I spent a lot of time in the ring with all six men and let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like learning on the fly by doing and I learned a lot in those three matches.  The most important thing I learned though was I could hang with John and bring something of value to the team.

I got my first indoctrination in getting Pearl Harbored after a match with Jimmy Cornfield’s guys.

I pinned the Black Mamba… my first actual HOW pin.

I survived being in the ring with and helped defeat two rugged, tough son of a bitches in Steve Solex and Clay Byrd.

And I’m teaming with and learning from a HOW Hall of Famer and the reigning LSD Champion for over eight months now.

Everything in my life the past three years is- eat, sleep, wrestle.  Eat… sleep… wrestle.  Wash… rinse… repeat.  I’m willing to make the sacrifices needed right now to get where I want to go and who I want to be.   HOW Hall of Famer Michael Lee Best once said when he steps into the ring, he gets to be somebody, gets to be unstoppable, gets to be someone who’s feared, and someone who gets to be respected.  That’s what Adam Ellis wants to be.  I want to be someone.  I want to be unstoppable.  I want to be feared.  And most of all, I want to be respected.  And I understand that to do all that, I have to work for it.  I have to earn it.  I have to commit to it. That’s why the day that I decided I wanted to become a pro wrestler, I made a total and complete commitment to being a pro wrestler.

I moved away from home.  It was tough but I did it.

I rolled the dice and showed up at an open cattle call for wrestlers that got me into MVW.  The best thing I ever did because it opened the door for me.

I… yes, I broke off the engagement to a girl who I’d been with all through high school… who I thought was the love of my life and in some ways, still may be the love of my life. But I’m twenty-one years old with the wide, wide world staring in front of me.  I have plenty of time to settle down with a wife. So I made a choice and it broke her heart.  It broke my heart to break her heart and part of me hopes someday down the road our paths will converge once again and I will get the chance to make it up to her for the choice that I made.  The realist in me knows that once I closed that door on her that the chances of her ever walking through it again were probably slim to none.


Because my singular focus is on one thing- working in partnership with John Sektor to win the HOW Tag Team title.  You and Xander Azula are the next to last step in a process that for me started three years ago in Missouri Valley Wrestling.  Building my career one step at a time.  Learning from the best- first Joe Bergman and now Sektor.  Joe built the foundation.  John is building upon what Joe started and taking me to a whole different level.

I like our chances on Sunday, Darin.  I like them a lot.


The Hampton Inn / Iowa City, IA – Thursday March 3rd
But wait…

This isn’t the Hampton Inn near downtown Iowa City located right along the Iowa river.  It’s an island.

The city of San Francisco is off in the distance.  The building is older and worn.

It’s the guard tower located on the Island of Alcatraz.

Praise Eris, praise Discordia.
Praise Eris, praise Discordia.

Adam Ellis hears the chanting clear as a bell standing at the base of the tower.  He sees the door.  Then he looks up at the window.  He sees Xander Azula peering down at him.  He sees Zander.  Zander sees him.  Adam knows what needs to do.

Cut to the top of the tower.

Azula sees Ellis open the door and walk in.  Xander whirls around in a dramatic fashion and shouts at his followers.

Xander Azula: STOP HIM!

Cut to the stairwell.  Ellis runs up the steps- skipping steps to get to the top faster.  He hears the chants…

Praise Eris, praise Discordia.
Praise Eris, praise Discordia.

…followed by multiple footsteps coming down the steps towards him.

One of Azula’s followers blocks his way.  Ellis summarily grabs him by scruff of the robe and flings the follower down the steps.

Praise Eris, praise Discordia.
Praise Eris, praise Discordia.

Another follower arrives.  Ellis stuns him with a punch, shoves  the follower to the ground, and sends him down tumbling down the stairs.


Adam takes out another with a stiff right hand.  He also flings him down the steps.

A fourth follower grabs Ellis’s shoulders from behind.  Adam stomps the foot and spins.  Knee lift to the groin bends the follower over.  Fireman’s carry and Adam launches him down the stairwell.

Praise Eris, praise Discordia.
Praise Eris, praise Discordia.

Ellis drops a fifth follower with a right hand.  He gets sent on his way and then pushes the sixth follower into the wall.  He shoves him down the steps and continues to make his way upward.

Cut back to the guard tower.  Azula continues on with the incantations but the noise and commotion coming from the stairwell can now clearly be heard.

Cut back to the stairwell.


Adam sees the seventh follower approach armed with a mace.  He swings.  Adam barely ducks under and drives his shoulder into the follower’s stomach.  He forces him down the steps causing the mace to release from his hand.  The mace drops down the steps making a ‘BONK’ noise as it bounces down the stairs.

The eighth follower grabs Ellis’s arm.  Ellis whips him into the wall and shoves him down the steps

Adam slams the ninth follower head first into the wall and clocks the tenth follower with a running strike and he goes tumbling down.

Cut back to the top of the guard tower.

Azula continues the incantation.  The lights begin to flicker on and off and the floor shakes. A whoosh sound envelops the room, the ceiling goes pitch black, and a vortex develops up above.

The vortex opens up the portal and the spirit of Eris begins to materialize.

Turning slowly around and ready to finish the ritualistic ceremony, Azula brandishes a large ceremonial knife.

The door slams open.   Adam bursts through.

Adam Ellis: AZULA!

He sees Xander begin to recite some sort of incantation as his followers continue to chant Praise Eris, praise Discordia.

Then Ellis sees the altar.  He sees WHO’S on the altar…

Adam Ellis: TORI!

…Victoria McGill.

Adam Ellis: TORI, WAKE UP!

But alas, Victoria’s unconscious, lying on her back on top of the altar in a white gown with her arms chained over her head.

Adam Ellis: Drop the knife!

Azula takes one look at the youthful twenty-one year and laughs.  He dismisses Ellis out of hand and approaches Victoria.

Adam Ellis: I said, DROP THE KNIFE.

Xander begins to recite some sort of incantation that ends with Praise Eris, praise Discordia.

Ellis starts forward.  A hand grabs him and spins him around.

Darin Zion.

Before Ellis can react, Zion spins around and cuts him down with the Ban Hammer.  Adam’s head hits the stone floor and he’s knocked woozy.  Zion turns him over and slaps on the Red Rings of Death.  He traps Ellis’s right arm with his legs.  He traps then pulls back on Ellis’s other arm.  Darin leans back and forces Adam to watch what happens next.

Xander Azula: And now Victoria, it is time.

Approaching the altar with the vortex at its maximum strength, the wind inside the tower increasing, Azula slowly raises the knife in the air.

Adam Ellis: No!  Don’t!

Xander Azula: And now, ALL will witness the reconstruction of my goddess’s domain over this earth…

Azula starts to bring the knife down.

Adam Ellis: NOOO!  NOOOOOOO…


With the knife mere inches away…







Adam’s eyes suddenly open.

Adam Ellis: …no?

He looks around.

Hotel room.

He checks the clock.

It’s one in the morning.

Adam sits up in the bed.  He looks at his phone.  There’s a text.

Adam Ellis: John.

Yes, four lines of texts from John Sektor.

Nice picture of you and the blonde.”

Adam Ellis: Crap.

“Hope you had a good time.  Make sure you’re taking care of business.  Let’s be ready for Sunday.”