Number 8

Number 8

Posted on February 10, 2022 at 1:03 pm by John Sektor

The Aftermath of Refueled LXXXVI…

 

I told you to watch your back, John. Told you we might hit your where it hurts.”

Cornfield’s words ran a loop in the Gold Standard’s head whilst he lay on the wrong end of a stomping at hands of Ivy English and an unknown assailant.

As the kicks kept landing, he watched helplessly through a crack in his arms as he guarded his head. He could just about make out his partner, Adam Ellis, being hoisted into the air by Cornfield’s monster, being slammed down onto the same steel chair which he had heard cause a sickening crack around the back of Adam’s head.

Fearing the worst, he closed his eyes tightly. The beating didn’t matter anymore, he was just waiting for it to end so he could go and assess the damage to his apprentice.

Sektor couldn’t recall how long the beating had gone on for, only the final kick and the incoherent rants of his attackers as he watched their feet walk away. He had planned for nursing his damaged and worn out knee after their tag match, but it was his body that was damaged. The shadows of the beating would soon be blossoming on the chest and abdomen of the Gold Standard. They would remind him of who was responsible for this and was already chalking it up to a declaration of war.

He glanced to his left and could see Steven’s struggling to get his wind back. Stevens had just been a victim of circumstance and in the wrong place at the wrong time. With a grunt of look of remorse washed over him. He couldn’t help but blame himself for what had happened to Stevens and Adam that night. It was his words which poked the monster.

The wounded champion gripped onto the guardrail and a couple of the fans tried to reach over to help him until the stewards ushered them out of the way. Sektor had no time to check on his former student, it was his current student in the ring who needed his attention.

Holding his ribs, he limped to the ring apron and dragged his way under the ropes, crawling on his knee’s as the EMT’s surrounded Ellis. He could just about hear the sound of his partners sullen voice, which reassured him a little as he got in closer.

Adam,” he grunted, elbowing Joel Hortega out of his way. “Fuera de mi camino dick cabeza!” he growled in Spanish.

The Spanish speaking referee’s expression told Sektor that he had translated that perfectly. Sektor leaned over his fallen team mate.

“Talk to me, kid,” he winced, feeling a sharp pain in his ribs. “How we doing?”

“I’m fine,” he groans, his head and neck restrained by the EMT’s.

Sektor looked at one of the EMT’s for an explaination.

“He seems okay, likely just heavily bruised from the landing. He was alert when he got here so I don’t think he’s concussed, but we’d like to rule out any spinal injury before we let him move.”

All Sektor heard was the faintest hint of any negative in that explanation, as he bowed his head with remorse.

“I’m sorry, rook. This is all my fault.”

“What you talking about?” moaned Ellis.

“They did this to you because of what I said. All that shit I talked about that carny prick cornfield and his two dick-head wrestlers? They did this to you to send me a message.”

“Don’t blame yourself, Sek. You warned me shit like this would happen sooner or later. We a team! Let’s focus on how we are gonna make them pay,” Adam advised, with as much enthusiasm as his battered state would allow.

The Gold Standard’s top lip curled like snarling dog as he thought about the PWA.

“Oh they’ll fucking pay!”

————————————————————————————————————————–

Back at the GSWA…

Indiana isn’t too far from Missouri, so I decided to head back to the academy to in St Louis to train for the upcoming LSD championship match. I was still seething from the events of Refueled, but I needed to put that to the back of my mind. Cornfield and his gang would have to wait, because another predator is standing before me and threatening to take away the LSD championship.

I’d spent the morning at a local swimming pool, swimming lengths to get some cardio in. My knee is preventing me from any impact exercise so the pool is my only means of keeping my fitness levels up. I’ve never really swam much before, but I actually found myself enjoying it. Being weightless helped me forget about the severe osteoarthritis and it works every muscle group in the body.

I pulled my car up outside my academy where Simon, my physio, was waiting for me.

“Hijo-de-puta..” I grumbled, as I spotted him holding a pair of crutches in his hands.

He’d been making me use crutches to get to and from places to keep my weight off the damaged joint. I rolled me eyes as he approached my Mustang, looking at me like a disappointed father.

“You forget these this morning?” he asked sarcastically, waving the crutches in front of me as he held the car door open.

I curled my lip as Simon smiled at me through thick rimmed glasses.

“Maybe I just don’t want to be seen around town looking like a fucking cripple,” I growled, still sitting behind the wheel.

“Yeah well it’s not for much longer. C’mon, I got something to show ya,” he reassured me, handing me the crutches.

With a grimace I flung my legs over the side of the bucket seat of the Mustang, literally the worst driving position someone with osteoarthritis of the knee could have. I took the crutches and batted the physio’s hand away as he tried to help me, using my upper body strength to push up to my feet. I got my balance, leaving the weight off my right knee and forcing the left to do the work. I feared my left knee would soon be in the same state.

“What you got to show me then?” I asked, my curiosity grabbing hold of me.

Simon smirked and gestured towards the building with a nod of his head. “Follow me,” he instructed, walking along side me as I swung like a pendulum through the parking lot. “How was your swim?” he asked, making small talk.

“It was good, actually,” I replied, surprising myself. “We need to install a pool here.”

I watched his face pout as he pondered the logistics of this.

Hmm. We could probably throw an annex up out back and fit a small one in,” he explained.

“Fuck that. I want an Olympic sized one.”

We headed towards the side door to the physio room of the academy building. I didn’t want the students seeing me on crutches. All the while I’m constantly reminded of the fact that I am wrestling with a disability. The crutches? The fact I have to train in a pool and not on the ground? The chronic pain which I refuse to medicate because I’m scared shitless of regressing back into being a drug addict?

I spoke about doubt last week. It’s hard not to let doubt creep into your mind when you have a literal handicap ahead of a huge title defence. I just need to remind myself that doubt is a negative emotion, and only through positivity can I find a solution. I will find a solution and I will find a way to retain the LSD championship.

As we entered the treatment room he patted the table. “Hop on,” he instructed. 

Hop? Funny fucker. I slid my sorry ass onto the table and tossed the crutches to the floor, letting my legs dangle over the side as I watched Simon carefully lifting some kind of device out of a, previously opened, box. He held it up for me to see with a proud smirk. 

It was a knee brace. 

What? That’s it?” I asked, unimpressed.

“What do you mean, ‘is that it?’ This is a state of the art piece of kit. Carbon fibre, kinetic, levitation and custom built knee support to your requirements. Do you know how much this costs?” he asked, sounding genuinely insulted by my lack of enthusiasm. 

“I hope it came with a receipt, because I aint fucking wearing it,” I laughed. 

His disappointment deepened. Sure, it looked fancy. It had some very ‘techy’ looking disc on either side of the hinge which would surround the knee. 

“At least try it on,” he requested. 

Rolling my eyes I nodded. 

“Lie down,” he instructed. 

I did as he asked and soon he was placing his hands firmly around the joint of my knee. 

“I’m going to manipulate the joint a bit, you might feel discomfort but I need to basically pull your tib and fib away from your femur so that to free up the joint. The brace should then hold it in place and you should feel a vast improvement.”

I didn’t reply, I just let him do his thing. He lifted my leg up and placed a padded cylinder under the back of my knee so it was slightly bent. He twisted my knee gently this way and that before eventually taking hold of my lower leg and pulling down on it like he was trying to get a tight boot off. The pain was murder but I managed to breathe through clenched teeth, feeling popping, cracking and crunching in the joint. 

Right, let’s give that a try,” he said to himself. 

I looked down as he began to secure the brace around my leg, tightening and fastening clasps around my thigh and calf. He then got a small screwdriver and began to make some adjustments around the mechanism in the knee. 

“Right now, you’re one slip away from tearing your meniscus or ACL. They are hanging on by a thread because of the stress your knee is under, never mind the fact that your knees are literally grinding bone on bone. If you blow either of those you’ve had it, mate,” he explains, in his frank British manner. 

“And this is the answer, is it?” I replied, still not convinced. 

“It will give you a lot of support in movements and added protection, yeah. Only thing is you can’t wear it under your tights so it’s going to by like a fucking beacon for your opponents.”

I huffed out a laugh. “Everyone knows my knees fucked by now. I’m sure Pleasant is thinking of all the different ways he can take advantage.”

“Yeah well, this is a bastard to get off so it’s not like he get it off you. Still, it won’t stop someone kicking shit out of your knee,” he sighed. “Anyway, give it a go.”

I looked down at the brace and if I couldn’t see it I wouldn’t have known I was wearing one. The memory foam padding was soft and carbon fibre made it virtually weightless. I swung my legs over the table and carefully slipped down, testing it out before fully putting my weight down on my right leg. 

Ohh,” I gasped with surprise. “This actually feels pretty good.”

I found myself smiling as I walked around the treatment room in the most comfort I had been in for the past couple of months. There was still a niggle of pain, but nothing like it was. 

“Try jumping,” Simon suggested.

I stared at him for a second to see if he was serious. I’d been subconsciously guarding this knee for so long that doing something as reckless as jumping and landing on it felt counter-intuitive. 

Go on,” he ushered. “Trust me.”

With a deep breath I bent my knees and jumped up on the spot, landing hard on my feet. I couldn’t believe it. It felt like the brace actually helped me jump. I swung my head towards Simon with wide eyes.

“Good innit? The mechanical hinge stores energy when you flex the joint and then releases it when you extend. You practically have a bionic knee now.”

“Bionic?”

“Yep. There’s all kinds of devices out there to strengthen and support injured body parts. We haven’t even tapped into augmentation yet. You’ll be like the six million dollar man by the time we’ve finished,” he joked. 

I felt some hope as I continued to move around with the brace. Like Simon explained, it won’t stop an opponent from inflicting harm, but it will help with my mobility and should help me be on my A-game for the title defence.

“I’ve been reading some research by a fella called Professor David Yarnitsky. He’s a neurologist who specialises in a field called ‘conditioned pain modulation,’” he randomly explains. 

“Neurology is brains. The fuck that got to do with my knee?”

“Well his thesis is that through conditioning the brain’s pain receptors through various exercises, you diminish your perceived pain intensity. I won’t bore you with all the sciency bits, but basically when you receive pain you release these chemicals, so by manipulating those you deplete them and thus the pain is diminished.”

“So basically he hurts people until it doesn’t hurt no-more?”

Simon laughs. “Yeah, basically. But his results are impressive. I wouldn’t mind giving it a go and combining it with joint manipulation therapy.”

I found myself intrigued by this professor he talked about. It was the pain which was causing me most of the problem. Pain is so debilitating and torturous. The injury itself would be fine if it wasn’t for pain, and now I have this fancy brace to help with the movement. 

“Get him here,” I instruct, looking Simon dead in the eye. 

His confusion was as clear as daylight in the gawking expression on his face. “Who?” 

“Professor whatever-his-name-is. If he’s the expert then I want him here to cure my pain!”

I was so desperate to cure the pain that I was scared I would eventually resort to analgesia, and we all know what the will lead to.

“Sek, don’t be silly. I can do it, it’s not hard..”

Simon,” I warned, trying to contain my temper. “You’re a great physio and you’re great at your job. But I don’t fuck around when it comes to my body or my sport. Find this Professor and convince him to come here.”

“He lives in fucking Israel!” 

“I don’t care what it takes. Pay him what he wants. Just get him here!”

————————————————————————————————————————–

 

Amigos, Romano’s.. Paisanos…lend me your ears.

Please bring forward the next contestant who will challenge the greatest LSD champion of all time for his prize.

Ah. Sen­or Pleasant. The man whom is vouching for himself to “liberate” the LSD championship from my awful Tyranny of ensuring that real pro-wrestling has a spotlight shone on it. The saviour of the LSD division, who wishes to restore it back to its barbaric and brutal core.

I can respect that. After all, I did the exact same thing when I beat Teddy Palmer and rebranded the division to what it is today. Not a single weapon, structure or gimmick has been used since I have been champion of this division and I am fucking proud of that.

But you don’t like it? Okay. As I said, your added motivation to take my championship is admirable and it also makes you more dangerous. I can hear the hunger in your words.

I can also smell desperation.

So we have established that you are a man who has the motivation to beat me. We know you have to the tools. My question is, are you ready for this? Are you ready for me? You need to ask yourself those questions because I want to know what makes you think you have the credentials to actually do what no one else has been able to do up to this point and end my reign.

You are without a doubt an intimidating opponent, Arthur. But your assessments are a little out of whack. Allow me to review and give my take.

Element one: “They say the man makes the title, not the title makes the man.”

You argued that this is false, in my case. I argue that it is absolutely true and that you, sir, are wrong. If I asked anyone in that locker room to name the last time the LSD championship was as hot as it is now? I guarantee that they would struggle to answer. That’s because of me, and I was a fucking legend long before I took this championship. Your opinion doesn’t mean Jack shit because you are not a champion. You are barely a contender.

Element Two: “They say that John Sektor has made the LSD championship one of the most sought after titles in all of High Octane Wrestling.”

Let me start by saying if you had argued against this point the way you did to my face? I’d have ripped your head clean off and shit down your neck. You quite literally undersold the calibre of all the opponents I have defended the LSD championship against over the past two hundred-plus days.

Steve Harrison – undefeated for months when he arrived in HOW before I finally brought an end to his streak. Not good enough?

Darin Zion twice – the man who beat the Best Alliance in a 3 on1 handicap match? A man who has won multiple championships wherever he has been? Sure, he’s an annoying little fuck but the man is a shoe in for the Hall of Fame one day because he fucking deserves it. Not good enough?

Clay Byrd – A fucking huge Texan brawler who would literally smash you into pieces if he had half a chance. Not good enough?

High Flyer – one the biggest wrestling names in the history of the industry. You shit on him the hardest and in some cultures if you shit on royalty like that? You’d be shot dead! Sure, he’s a shadow of the man he once was, but he and I still put on a five star Iconic match. Not good enough?

Jatt Starr – Hall of Famer. One of the greatest World champions of all time. One of the greatest champions, period, of all time. A man who knows me better than anyone and took me to the wire in a ninety-seven minute Iron Man match where the rules changed every thirty seconds. Still not fucking good enough?

‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson – You know, prior to the match I may have given you this one. He may never have had a big time match before, but he sure looked at home when he and I went to war.

A ‘paltry list of challengers.’ Seven title defences against six different opponents of all different shapes, sizes, styles and intelligence.

You? You haven’t even had six fucking singles matches. You’ve had four wins and one loss to fucking Dan Ryan. Who I’ve beaten, by the way. So don’t fucking stand there and talk shit about all the men who have come before you because until you actually prove yourself and beat me? You are not better than any of them and you certainly don’t have the qualifications that they have.

Element Three: “They say Arthur pleasant is a watered-down version of Max Kael, who is nothing but a quitter when the going gets tough in a wrestling ring.”

Shut the fuck up!

Who? Who says that? I’d like to know who ‘they’ fucking are. You’re the first person who I’ve ever heard say that. Know why? Because no one, in their right mind, would embarrass themselves by using your name and Max’s in the same sentence. Watered down or not, there is no one in this lifetime or the next who could even come close to being compared to that maniac, and I mean that with respect. He will have turned in his fucking grave when you said that shit. If anyone did say that shit? More fool you for fucking buying into it.

The only thing true in that statement is that you’re a quitter.

You’ve talked shit about all the challengers I’ve defended against. You claim to be my toughest opponent yet but I’m not convinced and I’ll believe it when I see it. Talk is cheap, mother-fucker, know what I’m saying? I talk shit because I’ve backed it up for two decades. You’ve had a handful of matches with mixed success and think you’re better than everyone else?

What you are, amigo, is deluded. You are man who parades himself as some kind of unpredictable and dangerous lunatic. Yet the truth is, you now stand in the shadow of a man who is actually fucking terrifying.

Seven title defences.

You know what you are to me?

Number eight!

Hello number eight..thank you for helping me take one step closer to Jace’s title defence record. I’ll be sure to note you in my biography along with the other ‘paltry’ challengers I faced.

Oh, and thanks for sharing your genius game plan with me. Gonna go for the bad knee, huh? I mean I would never have figured that out, but thanks. If it’s all the same to you, I’m gonna play my cards close to my chest and keep the tactics off your radar. K? You know, just in case you figure out a counter attack or something.

You think I’m not good enough? Not Hall of Fame enough? Not LSD enough? I assure you, I am plenty fucking good enough. I will beat you. You will be sore. You will be salty and you are going to eat every fucking word you said about me, and all of the men who came before you.

But hey! It’s not all bad..

..Maybe Lindsay Troy’s got a spot in Prime for ya when you lose a title match to me and QUIT!

..See ya soon, number eight.