Monday, August 2nd, 2021
Crown Point, Indiana
Outlaw Pro Wrestling Headquarters
My heart feels a sense of humility after my World Championship match against SRK last week. I couldn’t believe the crowd response that came from the Memphis crowd. All 18,119 people standing on their feet roaring my name; it still flabbergasts me. I could let my sense of pride and zealousness take over from that single moment. The white-hot, organic hype from the crowd adds an intangible in my LSD Championship match. I could justify the overwhelming, deafening crowd support as my case to defeat Sektor. It’s the second wind every wrestler begs to have going into a match with this gravitas.
But I’d be lying to everyone if I did that. My usual joyous, eager tone did not resound with ceaselessness like last week. The pangs from my encounters with Sektor in at the tail end of 2020 continue to flood my mind. Latching onto to my anguish, it only reminds me one thing: I’ve been Sektor’s personal rag doll.
Sektor’s had my number since returning to HOW last fall. First, he cut a month off my career when he returned to do Lee’s bidding. Next, he and Jatt Starr demolished the Hollywood Boyz to win the HOW Tag Team Championship. Finally, to add insult to injury, he scooped right in like a scavenger and eliminated me from this year’s War Games.
No matter how my mind tries to give this scenario a positive spin; I fail, and I can’t hide it. The thought of facing John Sektor for the LSD Championship causes my stomach to knot up. After our last encounter, Lee’s personal hit man shed some dead weight. No longer did Sektor have the light-hearted attitude of Jatt Starr guiding him. John now could unhinge that deep seeded aggressive nature of his. He could toss me around with more reckless abandonment than our last meeting.
My approach to this LSD Title match needs to change. John knows how to exploit his opponent’s weaknesses and flaw with relative ease. I could sense he smells the blood in the water when it comes to my enthusiastic demeanor. I can’t rely on my stylish technical prowess to carry me to victory. I must get outright dirty and stiff to even stand a chance.
Enter Outlaw Pro Wrestling, the newest independent wrestling promotion to Crown Point, Indiana. This Mega Bloks shitshow fills the gaps left in Crown Point since PWX died. Out of the ashes, a former friend and PWX wrestler gained control of the territory. While it quenches the local’s bloodlust for combat; it’s lacking morals drag its credibility down.
Chills ran down my spine the moment my hand grabs the doorknob to this once abandoned car garage. The poignant stench of sweat and testosterone rushes my nasal cavity as I open the door to this gym. Every OPW talent stops in the middle of their training session to shoot me their glares of disgust. I waste no time in barking out my request.
“Where’s the boss?” I ask in a tone that means business. My eyebrows crinkle up displaying my disgust. One of the meat heats points to the darkened hallway all the way in the back before I scurry off at a frantic pace. I did dare to spend any time lurking to study their questionable training methods. I only had one goal: find their leader in hopes he would train me.
Ambling down the obscure hallway, a dim focuses on a dingy, destroyed door. I can see the boss’ name written in gold letters outlining his cocky nature. Approaching the door, my sense of dread heightens as my heart sinks down into my stomach. As I turn the knob, it squeaks echoing through the narrowed hallway.
Before I entered the domain of my former friend, the hairs on my neck stick straight up. His sarcastic voice bellows out and startles me.
“Darin Doorite! How the tides have turned! I knew you’d come back this week. John Sektor’s a rough hand to draw after that tantalizing performance of yours last week. Come sit down! Take a load off!”
I enter the office to find former PWX wrestler Jarome Owens. Jarome sits at his executive style desk in an assertive manner, leaning in towards me. A sadistic smile highlights his face. Jarome kicks his legs up as he exhales a plume of smoke from his Regius Double Corona cigar. His grey Oxxford suit highlights his mocha skin and displays his eccentric attitude. He strokes his goatee almost gloating at me with the smug look on his face.
Jarome and I’s history dates all the way back to the glory days of PWX. While he took on an undercard role in the company; Jarome always hid his talents from the brass. He’d developed his own methodical and stiff stylings in the ring throughout the years. While others underestimated him, he commanded respect out of them. If they didn’t; they’d suffer the consequences.
He only rose to prevalence after PWX’s death by creating his own company. The lawsuits from his overdue back pay gave him a fortune. Ever the opportunist; Owens cornered the indy wrestling market here in Crown Point. Using questionable tactics, he cornered the market and scared off other promoters. I held a grudge over him stagnating the market where my career started.
My eyes dilate to display my revulsion at him. I clinch my fists right at my side, biting my lip as I speak. “I’m not in the mood to hear your bullshit, Jarome. This is strict business.”
Squawking in delight, Jarome claps his hands before his eyes scowl at me. “It’s business you want, Zion. Fine, but you know there’s always a hefty price to pay when I’m doing business.”
Without hesitation, I slap a wad of cash right down on his desk. “This enough?” I bark out with angst.
The gears in Jarome’s mind turn for a moment. He narrows his eyes and scratches his chin before nodding. “It’s a start…”he scoff at me before he sticks his hand out.
I grab his hand to give him a firm and definite handshake. “Anything to beat Sektor for the LSD Championship this week. I’ve exhausted all efforts trying to tackle this problem. I’m tired of being the shit stained door mat for Lee’s best heavy,” I say with an emphatic presence in my voice.
He offers up his back-handed encouragement. “Atta boy, Zion! Your beautiful textbook wrestling style only carries your career so far, my boy. You’ve always lacked that gritty, gruesome style your HOW compadres display. It’s about time you…INVESTED in yourself. I’ll unlock some of those dark tendencies laying dominant in your heart. You’ll be a champion in no time.”
My nose wrinkles up at him. I still felt uneasy about the whole transaction, but deep in my heart, I know he’s right. “You better be!” I exclaim under my breath before Jarome presses his ear right in my face. I back away from him as he pulls away. His devilish lips sneer before he jabs his finger into my chest.
“Shut up, you ungrateful fuck!” He exclaims in an angry tone. “You start tonight and you better check that ungrateful attitude of yours at the door. Remember, you came to ME for help against Sektor. We aren’t doing this the Darin Doorite way. This is MY way and MY style.”
I nod at him in a begrudging way before I exit his office and slam the door behind me. I grit my teeth together with sheer force regretting this decision. But if I want to put Sektor down for that LSD Championship; I could not rest on my loreals alone. I need to tighten up and be aggressive in that ring. Stiffening up my strikes and suplexes is critical to neutralizing Sektor. Every wasted moment with my wrestling finesse meant another wasted opportunity.
And I could not afford to waste yet another championship opportunity Lee Best gifted me.
Monday, August 2nd, 2021
Crown Point, Indiana
Outlaw Pro Wrestling Headquarters
My heart races at an alarming rate as Jarome’s giant block head charges at me. In a split second, the muscular man sweeps my off my feet with a brisk clothesline. The room spins around me at a rapid rate as my eyes glaze over. The pain from the 6’7” giant’s the excessive suplexes and rigorous strike begins to set in. The OPW Champion “The Punishment” Pedro Martinez hoists me up on his massive shoulders. With authority he slams me down to the mat with a Powerslam using his brute strength. Jarome slams his fists down to the mat in a repetitious cycle to shock me back to life.
“Pick your fuckin’ sorry ass of my mat NOW! I told you to drop your shitty pizzazz bullshit before you stepped into the ring with my champion.” He barks out at me.
Using my shoulder to elevate myself back up to my feet, I watch as Martinez charges at me again. My adrenaline flares up and I roll out of the way of the hellacious spear coming from the champ. Pedro’s shoulder makes a direct hit with the turnbuckle. Spinning my body with duress, I nail a stiff roundhouse kick to The Punishment’s back. It revibrates off the metal walls in the gym’s halls.
“That’s what I’m talkin’ about Zion!” Jarome bellows out in excitement. I turn my head back to him before he scolds me. “Get your head in the damn game. Stop hesitating! Keep on the offensive, boy.”
Turning my attention back to Martinez, I drive my forearm into his back with authority.
The OPW Champion’s body flops straight to the ground. I rush at him nailing a direct kick to his jaw. The cracking noise resounds in the background. I mount the 300-pound monster’s chest and begin to unleash ruthless strikes to his head.
Jarome pipes in with more advice. “There ya go, Zion! Hit him harder! Make his ass bleed. He needs to respect you.”
The intensity mounts up as my punches get stiffer. I hammer his thick jaw line with brute power until blood flows out of it. I rise to my feet and stomp him one last time for good measure. I reach down for his beautiful, black locks and yank him back up to his feet. I sling around behind him, wrapping my arms around his waist. I struggle to lift him off his feet as Martinez’s elbow connects with my ears.
“Use your damn hips! Get into squatting position now and hoist that motherfucker up! If ya don’t; I’ll make you do squats until your vomiting your ass off at ringside!” Jarome exclaims at me as his eye widen with hatred. He grabs his steel cane and strikes it against the ring steps.
Releasing a primal scream; I throw my hips into my German Suplex, driving the muscular champ next down to the mat. His neck joints snap from all the pressure. Pedro twitches in place as Jarome motions for me to land another stiff shot on his meathead.
Picking Martinez up from the mat is no easy feat. It’s like dead lifting a refrigerator on your own. Exhausted from the challenge, I take a moment to wipe the sweat pouring off my face. The discombobulated mammoth drives his fist straight into my jaw. My eyes light up with fire before I whip my body around. I nail the Ban Hammer with the most violent motion I’ve ever used. Martinez doesn’t take time to sell the move. The adrenaline pumps through his veins. Capturing his body, I strike him with a devastating Tiger Driver headfirst into the ring.
Silence follows the echoes from the move as I hold his body down. Jarome’s applause breaks the silences, and he nods in approval of my work.
He encourages me as I lean against the ring ropes exhausted. “Excellent work, my young protégé! You’ve embraced that Japanese style I’ve taught you. You’ve gotta keep rolling in the mud more. Mix that finesse of yours with some brutality. You don’t have to lose the essence of yourself in that work. You need authority when stepping in the ring with someone like Sektor.”
I nod him with approval before he tosses me a towel. I pat off the sweat then tend to the fallen champion. As I extend my hand, Martinez pulls himself off the mat and balks at me as he walks off. Jarome continues to berate my accomplishments tonight to keep me grounded.
“Now we both know this is Fisher Price shit, kid. Tomorrow, you graduate to the real McCoy. You step into the ring with a pro like me. And unlike my champion; I won’t go easy on you.”
I brush him off while I respond to him. “Yeah, yeah, yeah! Your talk is cheap. I’m thankful for the life lessons, Jarome. You got my back this time. I’ll give you credit.”
He smiles at me as I walk off and retrieve my duffel back from the broken bench down below. I hobble my way towards the door with my belongings in tow. I offer him another round of my undying appreciation to his kind gesture. “Thanks again, man. Now if you’ll excuse me, I got to go home and get some rest. Meredith’s making me watch tapes in the morning. I’ve got to get my training regiment in line with preparing for the Sektor Stretch. I’ll see you tomorrow night.”
Before I could exit the establishment, Pedro stops me dead in my tracks at the door. Jarome strolls up to me, reaching into the pocket of his suitcoat. He extracts a little baggy lined with white powder in it. He nods in an empathic fashion.
Jarome says, “I told you, Darin Doorite, there’s always a price to my favors. You don’t get to walk out of here without an Owens style celebration. You gotta partake in the festivities tonight. After all, a true champion not only borrows his nemesis’ style. He embraces the Champs thought process too!“
Chills run up and down my spine and my heart races. Sweat beads form on around my forehead as I gulp. My weighted eyes lock with Jarome’s fierce and vile look. In a cold and calculated fashion, he sneers at me like he knows he’s taunting me with my past lifestyle. My hands rub against my face at an alarming rate.
“I…I…can’t, Jarome. That shit will wreck everything I’ve worked towards.” I challenge him paralyzed in place.
Martinez crack his knuckles as Jarome lifts his cane up into the air. He threatens me without a second thought. “There’s other methods of payment. I’m sure Lee would understand.” He points straight at my kneecaps. Before Pedro moves in for the kill, I snatch the bag out of his hands. I shoot them both a disgusted glare.
I yell out in an angry tone. “Fine! I relent to you this time. But I swear to God, no more of this bullshit.” I walk over towards the table and pour the white powder on the table. My heart sinks in my chest as I partake and snort the powder. My eyes wig out for a moment. The instant regret weighs on my shoulders for a moment before everything around me fades. The only thing I can hear is Jarome’s vile cackling echoing off in the background, and everything fades to black.
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021
Crown Point, Indiana
A familiar voice wails out with incredible loudness: “Wake up!”
Awakening to Meredith tossing a glass filled with water on my face, I leapt out of bed. Dazed and confused at this turn of events. I vehemently rub my eyes, struggling to stay awake. I had no recollection of last night’s events, but I knew Jarome must’ve dragged me back home somehow. I grumble at her without wasting any time. “You COULD have at least woken me up with a kiss! It’d be more pleasant than this shit you pulled.”
Meredith crosses her arms against her chest with displeasure in her eyes. She wags her finger at me lecturing me with her warm tone. “You reek of alcohol so that’s a definite no from me. You were supposed to wake up at 7:30 and study tapes of Sektor with me.”
“Sorry, late night training took a turn for the worst.” I apologized with my sincerest tone possible. “Jarome decided we needed to take a field trip.”
Meredith’s despondent tone says it all. “Told you he’s bad news, Zion. That’s the second week in a row you’ve slacked your duties with parties. Remember, Conor tells me everything. He wanted to make sure your head was in the game this week. You have the chance to change the tide in the Bottomline LSD Championship match. Teddy’s going it alone against two BA members. You need to be on your game.”
I roll my eyes at Meredith. “I’m on my game, Meredith. Jarome wanted…” I paused for a moment, gazing down at the fluffy brown carpet. I try to spin this whole situation. “Jarome’s training needed me to get into Sektor’s head.”
Meredith’s eyes gloss me over a couple times as I looked messed up. “Don’t lie to me. You look like hell. We can hold off training so you can get some rest.”
I scoff at her concern. “Pleeeeease! To fight a junkie, you need to be a junkie. It’s all a part of my plans this week. I might look like a cat barfed all over me, but I’m fine.”
The scent of waffles, eggs, and bacon wafts into my nostrils. My stomach rolls and before long, I rush over towards the trashcan in the hallway. I spew my guts into the black bin without hesitation. Meredith’s elongated sigh expressed her annoyance with me. She rests her forehead on the palm of her hand before airing her grievances.
“For fuck sakes, Darin, I’m calling off the training today. We were GOING to be working on your shoulders and arms so you could work your way out of the Sektor Stretch. Guess we’ll postpone that until tomorrow after you’ve recovered. Maybe you can watch tapes…”
I contest her immediately. “No! It’s not what Sektor would do. He’s a cold-blooded killer in that ring. He’s the right-hand of GOD. The hitman to Lee Best! We’re doing this training regardless of my state. I need endurance training if I stand any chance of winning that belt. I don’t care if I’m coupled over a trash can the entire day at the gym. I’m going to push through rather you like it or not. I’M NEED THAT LSD BELT! I NEED IT!”
My eyes lit up with disdain at the thought of missing a day. I storm off towards the kitchen and force breakfast down my throat almost coupling over in pain. As Meredith enters the room, she shakes her head.
She exclaims, “Seriously, don’t be like this! You’ve already started my first week off in Crown Point on the wrong foot!”
I stop in the middle of a bite and rest my hand on her shoulder. “I swear, I’ve got this. We’ll be down this hole again with Owens tonight too. I finish my last session with him tonight and it’s over. Let me stubbornly power through this training session today. I’ll handle him later tonight.”
I inhale the rest of my breakfast with haste. I let out a loud blech to the abhorrence of Meredith before she hands me the duffel bag she packed.
“I’m not going easy on you.” She retorts at me as we leave for the gym. “I’m going to make you regret your bad life decisions. I will break you of them. I don’t care what you’re hiding beneath them. I’m not putting up with this lifestyle, Zion.”
I reach over and pull her in before I kiss her on the forehead. “I promise, Mere! You know I can’t let you down.”
I cross my fingers with hers and hold her hand. I message it trying to soothe her, but I can tell it’s not working. I let out a deep cleansing breathe before we head off to the gym.
Deep down, I feel like shit. I groggy and barely hobbling around after what Jarome did to me. But every day I fail to capture singles gold, it weighs on my shoulders. It’s become a daunting task to watch my failures. My stomach knots up every time I fail Section 214 and come up short. If all this gets me in the mind of John Sektor; it will yield me the singles gold I’ve been craving to have around my waist. I won’t let Detroit, Michigan or the rest of the world down. I will walk out of the Little Caesars Arena with the LSD Championship draped over my shoulder. I’ll single-handedly disrupt Lee’s plans and cause chaos. It will become a Fatal Fourway and I will walk into The Best Arena finally as a champion.