September 26th, 2020
“Private Eyes VIP Escort Service, my name is Cindy, how many I help you?” she inquired politely. “Sure you can, just bring a mask…We have a catalog you can look through…we’re located in Midtown. Just take…”
“Hey Cindy,” Kevin Capone said dryly, startling his secretary as he strolled by sporting a nasty scowl.
“Do you mind holding for one moment sir?” Cindy asked kindly. “…Thank you.”
Cindy pressed the hold button on the office phone, her eyes opened wide, upon seeing Capone.
She held the phone against her shoulder, instinctively, as she began to speak.
“Kevin, what are you doing here!?” inquired Cindy now more animated. “Weren’t you just here this morning?”
“I can’t concentrate at home,” Capone responded, still not displaying any positive emotion. “I need to train somewhere I can focus.”
“Should you be training so much?” asked Cindy bashfully, her acrylic thumbnail pressing her teeth.
“Have I heard back?” retorted Capone.
The silence from Cindy was deafening as was her nail still pressing against her pearly whites and evident remorseful eyes.
“Ok then.” He answered stoically.
Kevin Capone was carrying his Louis Vuitton Damier Keepall 55, although, the rest of his attire didn’t mesh while wearing a white “wife beater” tank top, black sweatpants, and low black trainers.
“I’ll be in my office,” he said, sauntering away. “Get back to the gentleman on the phone.”
“I’m sorry about the hold sir. So yes, we’re located right by…” was heard as the glass door to Kevin’s office shut behind him.
The space was an elegant, executive style office with a brown luxurious desk and high leather chair but was otherwise cold. The right side of the office, however, displayed a much more personal atmosphere. This is where his gym was located. There was an assortment of exercise equipment from benches, barbells, and racks of free weights to elliptical machines, stationary bikes and treadmills. This place was truly his sanctuary, not because of the gym per-say, but because of the framed wrestling posters/ads with which the walls were decorated.
Capone dropped his Louis Vuitton duffle bag and took a deep breath as if it were the first time he’d laid eyes on these priceless mementos (to him). This was all the motivation he needed to keep going. Kevin came up to the first one, a cheap Kinko’s flyer with colors faded like a book cover left out in the sun. The event featured Capone’s debut match in wrestling. Every match except his was listed on the card. At the time, he didn’t care. He was just happy to finally get paid. Here’s an excerpt:
CONCRETE JUNGLE WRESTLING
Great Action on display!
The CJW Tag-team Champions – The Fruits in Suits take on The Broncos…plus much much more!
May 14th, 2001…Lost Battalion Hall – Queens, NY
Tickets only $5
Kevin inserted his hands into his workout straps as he set his eyes on another poster that featured a traditional face off between Capone wearing a grey bandana folded into a four inch headband exposing his bald head and his opponent, a man with jet-black hair slicked back into a ponytail.
The main event read:
AMERICAN SUPERSTARS OF WRESTLING
Kevin Capone vs. Andrew ‘Big Bad’ Wolf
Live from the NEC Arena in Birmingham, England
11,000 expected in attendance… Two rising stars clash!
Don’t miss out! 12-5-2003
The picture captured menacing faces on the rivals but in reality Capone was smiling inside. There was nothing to be angry about. He was nearly a year removed from New York and the limited confines of its local venues, which he had long before outgrown. Not to mention, the buzz he had garnered to this point was enough to merit being featured on an international event.
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 Kevin Capone, the foreigner, and of course the huge crowd the event drew…Capone now sat on a bench pulling on his elastic knee support braces one at a time as he looked up at another particularly interesting poster. This piece was written in Japanese with English captions. The poster itself was printed on blue paper and featured a bloody Capone hitting a random wrestler with the F5 while his opponent, a fellow in his late 40’s with a receding hairline, applied a crossface on a different grappler. The headline here was:
Japan Wrestling Association Presents –
MASATO FUJIYAMA vs. KEVIN CAPONE
Japanese Legend meets The International Pimp at last!
Tokyo Dome…Attendance: 51,762…
SOLD OUT – January 24th 2006
REMATCH COMING SOON!
The event had been such a success, that the herd of fans that had been turned away at the door created a riot. This action forced the promotion to print an impromptu poster promoting a rematch. They posted copies of it in every nook of the building that night…This was one of those posters.
There were countless more but Capone couldn’t help but focus on the last piece placed on the wall as he now attached his weight-lifting belt to his back. It wasn’t a poster for an event or match. Instead, it was an empty frame with plate reading:
HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING
Kevin Capone’s reflection that came off of the picture frame’s glass spoke a thousand words. There wasn’t anything to feel good about. There weren’t any smiles today.
To forget his psychological torment, Kevin diverted his attention to a shoulder-height barbell set almost picturing it was any H.O.W. superstar.
“Back to the basics,” Capone said to himself as he mounted plate after plate on the barbell totaling 400lbs.
Kevin swiped chalk over the palms of his hands and gave an intense stare to the mirror in front of him. He proceeded to swoop his head in front of the barbell, carrying its full weight on the back of his shoulders and coming down into the perfect squat.
“1…..2…..3…..4…..5…..H.O.W. IS MINE!” shouted Kevin as the corner of his eye caught a reflection of the empty glass frame. “…7…8…AGGHHH…10”
He slowly stepped forward and placed the bar on its rack. Capone stretched his neck for a few seconds and added 50lbs to the bar before beginning his second set.
“1…..2…..3…..4…..THEY CAN’T HANDLE ME…..6…..7”
“You have a call, Kevin,” interjected Cindy nervously from Capone’s door.
Kevin completed one more rep before speedily putting the bar back on the rack. He collected himself for a moment, taking a deep breath to calm down.
“Is it-,” Kevin managed.
Cindy shook her head in non-affirmation, her lips twisted in regret.
“Why am I receiving personal calls here anyway?” Capone asked, short tempered.
“Don’t you remember?” retorted Cindy as she walked closer to Kevin. “You asked to have all your cell phone calls that went to voicemail forwarded here as a marketing tool.”
Capone gave a delayed nod at Cindy’s response.
He responded firmly, “Tell whoever it is I’ll call them later…I’m doing something that really is important.”
Cindy acknowledged Kevin’s request with a slight nod. She walked over to the phone on his desk and picked up the receiver. Meanwhile, Kevin focused again on the matter at hand…training.
“Sorry sir,” she said. “Kevin isn’t available right now. Try calling back later.”
“Uh-Huh…Ok one moment please.”
“Sorry…sorry…sorry Kevin,” she exclaimed apologetically while covering the speaker with her hand, instinctually again.
Capone shot a look through the corner of his eye that could have drilled a hole through her.
“But he says he’s from High Octane Wrestling.”
He paused with intrigue, mid squat upon hearing that, before digging deep and finishing the rep. Capone racked the bar, the sweat beading on his forehead, and focused his attention on the call.
“From H.O.W.?” Kevin asked curiously as he strolled curiously towards Cindy. “Who from H.O.W.?”
“His name is Jim,” responded Cindy, her hand still on the speaker end of the phone.
“Jim?” Capone said to himself with a look of confusion. “I don’t know any Jim’s from H.O.W.”
“What should I tell him?” inquired the secretary.
“Give me the phone,” he said while motioning for it with his hand.
Cindy handed him the phone while deciding to stay and listen.
“Hello,” Kevin said as he wondered what was the meaning of this call. “I don’t believe I know a Jim from H.O.W…Oh you’re the camera man.”
Cindy became confused as well.
“What can I do for you?” asked Kevin as he looked at Cindy, now both more confused than ever. “Sorry we don’t give discounts…I know I gave you my card but…well, I’m sorry that your weekly check doesn’t cover…”
“OH IT’S THAT GUY?” asked Cindy, shifting from confused to lively. “He’s been calling all week asking for discounts under different names.”
“Oh yeah?” said Kevin as he covered the speaker with his chest. “I guess he figured he’d try his luck with me.”
Capone placed the phone back on his ear.
“Joe…Jim…Buddy. Have you ever shopped at Louis Vuitton?” Kevin asked. “Alright. Here’s some homework…Just for kicks, go to a Louis Vuitton store and ask a rep if they could give you a discount on an item and hear them inform you that they don’t offer discounts or even put items on sale. It wouldn’t matter if it’s a past season’s item. Do you why? Here’s a business lesson. It’s because they don’t want to diminish the prestige behind their brand…Sorry Jim, try going to a corner in a neighborhood near you. Maybe you’ll find something in your price range.”
With that Capone hung up on Jim and turned towards Cindy.
“Cindy, I love you,” said Kevin with a firm stare and prayer hands. “But if you interrupt me one more time it better be for something that benefits my life or because you no longer want your job.”
“I’ll leave you alone,” said Cindy before walking away afraid to say anything else.
Capone wasn’t intentionally mean to his secretary but he was determined to take his game to a higher level and show the entire H.O.W a superstar unlike they’d ever seen before. He went back to the squat rack and again soaked in the posters around the room through the reflection on the mirror. He hadn’t bended his knees into position before Cindy was right back at the door.
“Let me guess,” Kevin began sarcastically. “It’s someone from H.O.W?”
“Yes,” Cindy responded, not daring to say anything else.
“And they’re offering me a chance of a lifetime?” asked Kevin again, sarcastically. “Because that would be the only reason you’d be here right, Cindy?’
“I don’t know,” she said with a nervous grin. “But it’s the Head of Talent Relations. I thought you might want to speak to him.”
Although skeptical, Capone was again intrigued. He hadn’t known any Jim’s from H.O.W, but he certainly knew the Head of Talent Relations. He made his way back to the ever-popular phone on his desk where Cindy was already holding the receiver. She handed it to Kevin as he pressed the red HOLD button until it became unlit. He placed it on his ear.
“And the ink is dry?” asked Kevin, while staring towards the empty frame with the H.O.W. plate.
“Airing tonight? Great.”
“Ok, excellent. Thanks sir. Bye.”
Capone hung up the phone with a toothy grin. He softly placed his hands behind Cindy’s ears and gave her a lengthy kiss on the lips.
“What was that for?” asked Cindy with a laugh and a smile.
“My contract was approved by the lawyers. They’re going to FedEx it overnight. I’ll be facing Jatt Star in my High Octane Wrestling debut match.”
Capone hugged Cindy before making his final trip to the squat rack. He added more plates to the bar totaling a whopping 600lbs. He was no longer training for an impressive physique. He was lifting for power…
“…ARGGHHH LET’S GO!”
“I can’t, I ca-”
“Cindy, please turn on the camera,” Kevin requested after racking the barbell, shaking his head, and pointing to the corner.
“Are you ready?” Cindy asked, one eyebrow raised.
Cindy strolled over and pressed the RECORD button on an already positioned camera in the corner of the office/gym.
“Jatt Starr. I’ve been watching…Boy, did I watch. And watch. And watch…I wouldn’t have thought you would be the first person I would face off against. But you are. I can’t help you find Gilda every time she disappears, but I can offer her steady work. You know, as one of those high class companions. We can always use a good..erm..worker. Or I can simply turn YOU into a wrestler. I said I watched, but NOT what I was looking to find. I’ve waited 20 years of my life to make it here and I’m not about to let your self-deprecating, sit-com, drama ass put a damper on it. Yes, I said 20 years. That may be something you or some may find to be sit-com comedy in and of itself, but I certainly do not. It took me a damn long time to get here. It just means I have something to prove. And prove it, I will…against you. You say you’re a “master teacher,” but I’m going to teach you about the sport in its purest form.”
“I’m not a ‘sports entertainer’ Jatt. I’m a professional wrestler. I’ve honed my craft for too many years. It actually IS funny. I used to wrestle against those with a receding hairline, now mine is running away from my head. There was either no interest early on or I was under contract at the wrong times. You might think I just didn’t have it or that I fell off. But who knows? Do I deserve to be here? Come find out at Refuel XLI on Saturday at Best Arena. All I know is I’ve been put in or put other human beings in inhumane positions until one or the other couldn’t resist submission for a looong time. I’ve been beaten or beaten down…more times than I can count…others while trying to avoid having my shoulders pinned down to the mat avoiding a three count. This shit is in my veins!’’
“Meanwhile, in the time you were probably with a girl figuring out how to kiss good. I was with a girl trying to pimp good. But I respect you. I respect everyone and everything around me. You are a competitor after all, first and foremost. It’s just- it’s just… maybe I should be facing Gilda instead?”
“But it’s Jatt Starr versus Kevin Capone. That’s even how it’s on the card and I respect it. I’m old but you have seniority. Can I just ask a favor? Pretty please, with a cherry on top? Bring your shit. I mean for real, for real. Not that gibberish about missing Gilda. I mean your shit. What brought you to the table. What brought you to the apex, High Octane Wrestling… What’s your third and fourth gear?”
“I hate talking like this to you, but someone needs to.”
Capone throws a smack in the air.
“Snap out of it! In that shape, over a woman!?’
“I don’t know you at all personally, but DAMN if I didn’t put you on game. ANYWAYS, back to our match, which is what really matters. You are Jatt Starr. You are the whatever of Jatthattan…the…you know…all that shit you say. Question though? Have you ever even been to Manhattan? You know, besides as… maybe, a tourist? Washington Heights…Harlem…Spanish Harlem? Dykeman?”
“It doesn’t really matter. Again. Bring your shit. Bring what you know in the ring. Bring the Jattaclysm. Bring the Falling Star. I want to find out. Scratch that. We all want to find out if… if I belong. If High Octane Wrestling is in my future or if it is and always will be a dream that is not meant to be.”
“I dreamt of this day. Not your arms are linguini and you can’t punch your enemy dreamt. I mean, law of attraction, this is going to happen, dreamt. I didn’t visualize you as my first opponent, but I take nothing away from you. You made it here before I did. That says something. Gilda must have followed you for a reason. Even if her leaving is more telling…But that’s a story for another day. Today…today it’s about you and me, Jatt. Oh yeah, this is old school. It’s about two opponents squaring off in the ring to see who is the better man on a particular night. It’s about that fortitude I spoke about earlier, to resist submission and therefore defeat. It’s about wanting it more than the other and not allowing that last morsel of strength to leave your body and not have you lift your shoulder off the canvas before the ref signals for the bell. IT’S THAT. WITH ME. If it just so happens that you are the better man at Refuel XLI on Saturday at Best Arena, I will extend my hand and offer it…Covid aside…and say you were the better man tonight.
But before you get your juices flowing or start thinking about Gilda coming back, just know this…I don’t intend to lose. I’ve made it damn far to lose now. You will not be the beginning and end of my High Octane Wrestling Career. It was instilled in me, as a guppy, that all I would be is a prop to make guys look like a million bucks. NO. Is that all I will be here? Bring your shit! And…
“COME FIND OUT WITH ME!”
FADE TO BLACK