One Day More

One Day More

Posted on June 3, 2021 at 12:04 pm by Ray McAvay

RAY’S MAILBAG
We’ve reached the part of the War Games cycle where I read and answer your letters.  This letter is from Steve Harrison and he writes to say this:

“I mean I guess nobody should take advice from the wrestling sham wow guy, right Ray?”

Yes.  That is correct.

“Glad you got an interview where you could toss out one sentence opinions on your competition.”

Why thank you.  Yes, I only focused on the people I feel are legitimate threats in the match- Clay Byrd, Sutler Reynolds-Kael, Cancer Jiles, plus I gave some props to Scottywood as well- all of who are on the Best Alliance team the last time I checked.

“How lazy.  I don’t mean the interview.  I mean every word that came out of your mouth. That is all you have. Ray?  Not some vague backhanded comment on how you got screwed when you lost to me for the tag titles.” 

Nope.

“Nope, you need to focus on your past a little more so you can rev yourself up for your showdown with Jace.  The dude tried to set you on fire who gives a shit about you beating him five years ago now.”

Steve, you won a tag match.  Whoop-de-doo.  When you and Jiles can actually beat Lindsay Troy and Teddy Palmer then maybe, just maybe, I’ll care.

As for Jace.  Yes.  He set me on fire.  That’s kind of a big deal.  More important than you jumping up and down trying to get my attention with passive aggressive digs.

“I feel like maybe you are still a little hurt by me calling your fed some redneck shit hole that gives Eric Dane a voice for some god-awful reason.”

Did you say that?  Oh.

Okay.

“While you are giving him a paycheck for putting over his trainee, ask him how it felt to give up before he even fought me.”

I’m sorry, did Eric Dane take a dump in your duffel bag or something?

Oh, hold on.  My chief business officer Laura Bergman just texted me to respond to your ‘redneck shit hole’ comment.  “Ray, isn’t this the guy who’s wrestling gear resembles custom embroidered sweatpants?  Whatever.”

Thank you Laura.  Moving on.

“You guys (Conor Fuse and McAvay) have that in common, Ray because instead of trying to rectify being dominated by me you just brush me off as some salesman that is below you to concentrate on.

The truth is you know it is safer to pretend I barely exist because if you must think about me at all you will have an anxiety attack.”

This thing with Jace Parker Davidson has nothing to do with the past either.  This is about the here and now.  This is about what happened on May 8th, 2021 when your douchebag teammate tried to set me on fire.

But, if it will make you feel better, Steve, we can pretend that it was you and not Jace who set me on fire so I’ll actually have to pay attention to you.

In fact, to show just how serious I am, I even went out and hired some people to do a reenactment of what I would have done to you, Steve Harrison, had you, Steve Harrison, and not Jace Parker Davidson, set me on fire.

RE-ENACTMENT OF WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF STEVE HARRISON AND NOT JACE PARKER DAVIDSON SET RAY McAVAY ON FIRE
(Remember, these are actors playing parts and not the real people.)

We cut away to the stern of the USS Octane just in time to see ‘Ray McAvay’ push someone off the ship.

Also with him, ‘Lindsay Troy’- his partner in crime tonight.  She peers over the side and follows the progress of the person hurtling down towards the Pacific Ocean.

‘McAvay’ leans over the railing.

‘Ray McAvay:’ I TOLD YOU STEVE!  YOU HIT ME.   I HIT YOU BACK.  YOU SET ME ON FIRE…

A splash can be seen.

‘Ray McAvay:’ …I THROW YOU INTO THE OCEAN! 

‘LT’ hands him a life preserver.

‘Ray McAvay:’ Oh.  Forgot.

He frisbees the life preserver into the water where it lands in the vicinity of where ‘Steve Harrison’ probably is. 

‘Ray McAvay:’ SEE YOU IN TOKYO!

‘Ray’ waves goodbye to ‘Steve.’

‘Barbie-Q’s’ voice: Hey!  What’s going on?

‘Barbie-Q’ suddenly appears on deck and joins ‘LT’ and ‘McAvay’ at the edge of the ship.

‘Ray McAvay:’ Since ‘Steve’ set me on fire last week, I decided to throw him into the ocean. 

‘Lindsay Troy:’ Yes.  I watched him go into the water and drown.

‘Barbie-Q:’ Wait a second.  Aren’t there sharks in the water out here?

‘McAvay’ hesitates and then responds.

‘Ray McAvay:’ Well, his wasn’t bleeding too badly when we tossed him over the side. 

‘Lindsay Troy:’ No.  Not too bad.

‘Ray McAvay:’ He should be all right…

‘LT’s’ not as sure.

‘Lindsay Troy:’ Well, he’ll probably be all right. 

He pauses and then concedes the point.

‘Ray McAvay:’ … yeah, probably.

‘Barbie-Q:’ Oh.  Okay.

‘Barbie’ nods as if she’s good with it.

‘McAvay’ climbs up onto a railing, the wind ruffling through his hair, the spray of water prevalent in the air. 

He spreads his arms out wide and bellows out loud as he can…

‘Ray McAvay:’ I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD! 

‘Barbie’ and ‘LT’ do the fake belly laugh thing you see at the end of a TV sitcom episode after someone says something pithy before the closing credits begin to roll.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the background a haunting flute floats through the air followed the dulcet sounds of Celine Dion singing ‘My Heart Will Go On’… 

***Remember folks, no one was injured or eaten by sharks during this re-enactment.***

But seriously Steve… the McAvay way is not the easy way… nor is it the lazy way.

You see, while you’re sulking about me not giving a damn about a tag loss, I’m walking up Mount Yamato Katsuragi on the Kujira Waterfall Trail twice a day for ten days straight.  Not because I want to… because that’s what has to be done.

While you’re jumping up and down and desperately trying to get my attention, I’m training at Yamamoto Tanaka’s dojo with Joe Bergman and he’s cracking the whip on me like he’s never done with anyone else before.  Not because I want to… because that’s what has to be done.

While you’re bitching and moaning about Eric Dane for Christ’s sake, I’m in the weight room and lifting weights for the first time in fifteen years.  Not because I want to… because that’s what has to be done.

You see Steve, I’m a little busy here trying to push a forty-one year body to the limit and searching in vain to regain the form and the ability that once upon a time I had .

Steve, you and several other of your Best Alliance brethren, have never experienced a High Octane Wrestling War Games match and quite frankly you have no idea what you’re in for.

In order to be in the best possible condition to endure what War Games will present and be ready for any eventuality that might come up, I knew I had to make some tough decisions.  That’s why I left Missouri Valley Wrestling (yes Steve, that’s the proper name of the wrestling company I own) in the more than capable hands of Laura Bergman and went to Osaka to spend ten fun-filled days in a de facto boot camp so I will be ready, physically and mentally for War Games.  No matter what happens Sunday… no matter who’s the final survivor… no matter whether Grapplers Local 214 wins or loses… there’s no way in hell I’m going to be the weak link of the team.  I’m not going to be the reason that Grapplers Local 214 fails.

Most of all, I’m not going to embarrass myself in front of millions of people by not being up to the job.

That’s not being lazy Steve.  I’m just doing what has to be done.   I’m doing what it takes to win.

I didn’t come back to collect an easy paycheck, play the hits, do the ‘fun’ stuff, and then leave after War Games.  Nothing about the past few weeks has been easy.  I’ve had to work through aches and pains I’ve never had to endure before.  I’ve pushed myself in ways I never did before in my career.

Standing on the summit of Mount Yamato Katsuragi on a Friday afternoon after having climbed that damn mountain for the twentieth time in ten days.

Peering down at Osaka miles off in the distance along the coast of Osaka Bay and locating Tanaka’s dojo on the south side of the city.

Knowing I’m just two days away from my final epic battle inside the squared circle.

And that brings us back to Jace.

At this point, I’m not interested in anything you have to say at this point and I’ve said all I’m going to say about what happened.  You can say anything you want to say and all I’m going to hear is the sound of a grown-up in a Peanuts cartoon…

wa-wa, wa-wa-wa-wa”

…or Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson giving his induction speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…

Blah, blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah!”

…or the long drawn out coda of a classic Beatles song.

“Naa na na na na na na na, na na na na, fuck you!“

You know what you did.  You took your best shot at me in the Staples Center locker room and you just couldn’t get the job done.   That’s right.  You failed to get the job done.

At War Games, I will get the job done, Grapplers Local 214 will win, and you will get the receipt that’s long overdue in coming to you.

This isn’t personal.

No, it’s going to be all business.

You see, I’ve learned quite a few things over the past two years running and then owning Missouri Valley Wrestling.  I’ve picked up some skill sets about networking and the like that have served me well in the business world.  I’ve learned how to set expectations and then follow through with decisive action.

So Jace, when that time comes in the War Games match where you and I are face to face- and it will happen– this is what I’m going to do.

I’ll start with a polite greeting.
Hello.”

Then I’ll introduce myself.
“My name is Ray McAvay.”

I’ll provide a relevant personal link.
“You tried to set me on fire.”

Then I’ll manage expectations.
“Prepare to die.”

***

Tokyo Dome Hotel
Tokyo, Japan
Saturday June 5th, 2021
10:00 PM Tokyo Time

The night before War Games.

Somewhere inside the hotel, Lindsay Troy is spending time with her children and trying to get in a good frame of mind for the match.  Darin Zion is probably out singing karaoke somewhere while Conor Fuse no doubt is in his room playing video games.  Meanwhile, Dan Ryan, Teddy Palmer, Conor Fuse, Zeb Martin, Arthur Pleasant, and Xander Azula are all assuredly preparing for War Games in their own way.

As for Ray McAvay, just back from the intense two-week training regimen in Osaka, he’s five pounds lighter and looking fitter and trimmer than he did when he first came back to HOW.

Ray McAvay: …while playing some Texas Hold ‘em poker with Joe and a few others after we returned to Tokyo last night, I realized I’m comfortable with what I’ve done the past two weeks.  I can set foot in the ring at War Games knowing no matter what happens, no matter if we win or lose, I can say I’ve done everything in my power to put myself in the best possible position for success.

McAvay paces back and forth in front of the head table at the front of one of the Tokyo Dome Hotel’s banquet hall with a capacity crowd of two hundred and fifty people all crammed inside.

Ray McAvay: Guy and gals, at forty-one years old, years removed from my peak condition, I’ve had to play the poker hand I was dealt.  I’ll be honest.  The cards didn’t look good at first and I could have just cashed my chips in and coasted through the War Games cycle.

Ray gazes out at the two hundred fifty in attendance who are seated at tables spread out throughout the hall.

Also on hand in the room, people from Joe Bergman’s Section 214 in the Best Arena and newcomers who came on board when LT, Teddy, Zeb, and Conor all took up the mantle and rechristened the movement as Grappler’s Local 214 earlier this year.

Ray McAvay: But that’s not the McAvay Way.  Instead, I’ve doubled down and gone all in.

He sneaks a glance towards the people at the head table behind him.  Joe Bergman’s there.  So are Victoria McGill and Barbie-Q.  Barbie flew into Tokyo the night before along with many of the Les Misérables/Section 214/GL 214 supporters.

Ray McAvay: It’s going to be tough. This is going to be my toughest match ever.  I still think Clay Byrd is going to be a formable force to overcome should he come out of the LSD match with the title and the Best Alliance retain the tag belts.  I won’t completely overlook Jace Parker Davidson or Cancer Jiles, Sutler Reynolds-Kael and yes, even Steve Harrison, either.  I know the Best Alliance won’t just lay down their hand and fold and I’m smart enough not to discount anyone in this type of match.  I know from past experience that anything and everything can happen once the bell rings and the match begins.  Someone said the odds on Ray McAvay being the sole survivor at War Games is +1000.

Ray shrugs.

Ray McAvay: Yeah.  That sounds about right.

McAvay pauses.  A smile appears.

Ray McAvay: But maybe… just maybe… I’ll find one more ace in the hole to play at War Games.

A circular musical pattern of flutes and wind instruments suddenly starts to play over the banquet room’s public address system.

Puzzled by the music, which resembles the opening notes of ‘One Day More’ from Les Misérables, McAvay looks around and wonders what’s going on.  He’d find out soon enough.

It seems some people here tonight- regulars who used to sit in McAvay’s Les Misérables section at the Best Arena back in the day- have cooked up a little surprise for him.

A man bolts up from his chair and Ray immediately knows who he is.  The man is a small businessman from Chicago.  Ray and Dawn McGill used to routinely drop off free tickets to HOW shows so the man could sit in the Les Misérables’ section.

[Business Guy from Chicago (sings):]
“One day more
Another day, another destiny
This never-ending road to Calvary
These men who seem to know my crime
Will surely come a second time
One day more…”

Another man rises from his chair at a back table.  Ray recognizes him as well.  He used to be a concierge at the United Center in Chicago five years ago where Ray and Dawn delivered tickets to the wait staff and other workers there.  Then a female stands up next to the former concierge guy.  She’s a former bartender who worked at the United Center as well.

The Former Concierge Guy sings Marius’s part while she sings Cosette’s part of the song.

Even Victoria McGill gets into the act.  McAvay does a double take when she stands up and sings Eponine’s part.

Seated next to Tori, Joe Bergman starts to twitch in his seat as if he’s starting to feel the urge to join in.

He slowly rises up from his chair…

…he hesitates…

…and then…

Joe Bergman: Aw, what the hell.

HE stands up.

[Joe Bergman:]
“One more day before the storm!

Joe sings the Enjolras part with gusto, trading lines with the former concierge guy in the back, thrusting his fist in the air to punctuate the lyrics he’s singing and nearly clocking Tori McGill several times in the process.

[Former Concierge Guy:]
Do I follow where she goes?

[Joe Bergman:]
At the barricades of freedom

[Former Concierge Guy:]
Shall I join my brothers there?

[Joe Bergman:]
When our ranks begin to form

[Former Concierge Guy:]
Do I stay or do I dare?

[Joe Bergman:]
Will you take your place with me?

And now, EVERYONE stands up and all two hundred and fifty people sing as one.

[All:]
The time is now
The day is here

[Business Guy from Chicago:]
One day more!

A guy runs out dressed in a faux Egg Bandits get up with a fake bleach blonde wig covering over his head, wearing cheap sunglasses, and puckering his lips hilariously.  He’s obviously covering the Javert part… as HOW World Champion Cancer Jiles.

[Fake Cancer Jiles:]
One more day till revolution
We will nip it in the bud
We’ll be ready for these schoolboys
They will wet themselves with blood!

Fake Cancer Jiles then throws an egg at McAvay…

…and misses…badly.

[Business Guy from Chicago:]
One day more!

Two people run in on both sides of the hall with large flags and starts waving them back and forth as we head towards the big finish.

[Half the room:]
One day to a new beginning

[The other half of the room:]
Raise the flag of freedom high!

[Half the room:]
Every man will be a king

[The other half of the room:]
Every man will be a king

[Half the room:]
There’s a new world for the winning

[The other half of the room:]
There’s a new world to be won

[Half the room:]
Do you hear the people sing?

[Former Concierge Guy:]
My place is here
I fight with you!

[Business Guy from Chicago:]
One day more!

While the impromptu flash mob performance of ‘One Day More’ winds down towards the big, glorious, grand climactic finish, Ray McAvay gazes at the spectacle unfolding before him and contemplates the long road that’s led him to this moment in time from his first HOW match against Christopher Diamond all the way to his final match at War Games 2021.

Ray knows tomorrow night is the last act of his wrestling career and the final curtain is getting ready to come down.

One more day from finding out if all the hard work of not just the past ten days, but the last six weeks, will pay off.

One more day from discovering whatever destiny awaits- for both Grapplers Local 214 and the Best Alliance- at the Tokyo Dome on Sunday June 6th.

 

He knows what must be done.  McAvay and his Les Misérables must man the barricades one last time for one last battle.

Tomorrow is the judgement day.

Tomorrow we’ll discover what our god in heaven has in store!

One more dawn

One more day

One day more!