Statement of Purpose

Statement of Purpose

Posted on December 26, 2023 at 9:49 pm by Drew Mitchell

Scene One- St. Louis Lambert International Airport
The frigid wind whipped through the streets of St. Louis, biting at Drew Mitchell’s exposed skin as he stepped out of Sunny O’Callahan’s car. The sleek black vehicle had provided a brief respite from the harsh Missouri winter, but now Drew was once again faced with the bone-chilling air.

It was the day after Christmas and the city seemed to be slowly emerging from its festive stupor. The sound of carols and laughter had been replaced by the honking of horns and bustling crowds as people hurried about their post-holiday errands.

“I’ll be back in a jiffy,” Drew called out to Sunny, his British accent adding a touch of charm to his words. He flashed her a crooked grin before turning towards the Delta Curbside check-in where he needed to drop off his mother Siobhan.

As he made his way towards the car, he couldn’t help but notice how different everything looked compared to when he first arrived in America. His career as a professional wrestler had taken off since then, and with it came fame and success he never could have imagined.

He opened the back door of the car and found his 41-year-old mother bundled up against the cold. She smiled warmly at him and he couldn’t help but feel a wave of love and gratitude for this woman who had always been there for him.

“Let me help you with these,” Drew offered as he reached for her bags. Each one was adorned with logos from various wrestling promotions, a testament to the life they had spent together ringside, traveling from one event to another.

“Thank you, love,” Siobhan said gratefully, her voice tinged with both age and care.

“Anytime, Mum,” Drew replied with a fond smile.

Sunny bid them farewell from inside the warm car, adjusting the heat to counter the cold air seeping in. Siobhan smiled warmly at the young woman, grateful for her son’s thoughtful companion.

“It was a pleasure meeting you, Mrs. Mitchell,” Sunny said sincerely.

“The pleasure was mine, lass,” Siobhan returned with equal warmth. “You take good care of my boy.”

“I will,” Sunny promised, feeling a sense of responsibility to the older woman.

With Drew by her side, Siobhan made her way into the bustling terminal. The holiday travelers buzzed around them like bees in a hive, rushing to catch their flights and begin their own journeys.

Drew made sure his mother was comfortably checked in and settled before leaving her with a gentle kiss on the cheek. He watched fondly as she joined the long line of passengers at TSA security, knowing that she would be well taken care of until they were reunited again.

Drew’s emotions were in a whirlwind as he staggered back to the car, his heart heavy with the weight of saying goodbye to his mother. But as he slid into the passenger seat with a thud, his thoughts shifted gears once again, this time to his ultimate goal of becoming a successful professional wrestler. The car’s interior, with its leather seats, offered a sense of comfort and familiarity amidst the chaos of the city.

Sunny, his trainer and friend, took a sip from her medium Coke with no ice purchased at a nearby McDonald’s.  “Are you ready to hit the road?” she asked.

Drew nodded confidently, still buzzing from the adrenaline rush of his recent matches. As they merged onto Interstate 170 and headed south, the conversation naturally turned to Drew’s career.

“You did real good against Evan Ward,” Sunny told him.  “You had the crowd captivated by your performance and I don’t care what Evan says, you beat his ass.”

Drew couldn’t help but smile at the memory of the match that took place right before Thanksgiving, feeling proud of that accomplishment.

“But then there was Chaos 52,” Sunny continued.

“Oi,” muttered Drew.  What went down at Chaos 52 still haunted him. He could feel the heat of that match in his chest, remembering how close he had come to winning before it all fell apart. Sunny’s voice became more serious as she brought up Shane Reynolds, the opponent who had ultimately defeated Drew that night.

“You had him,” Sunny said firmly, her Californian drawl tinged with Irish pride. “I had to scream my lungs out to keep you focused after that near fall.”

“I know.”  Drew nodded in agreement, remembering how he and Shane had gone blow for blow in an intense back-and-forth battle until Reynolds caught Drew with the Original Sin.  Drew’s mind replayed the pivotal moment over and over again. He could still feel the impact of hitting the mat, the audience’s stunned silence as Shane stood victorious. It was a loss that had been tough to swallow, but one that only fueled Drew’s determination to come back stronger.

“Shane spun you around and spiked you to the mat with the force of a wrecking ball,” Sunny reminded him. That match was yours for the taking, if not for a bit of greenness showing through.”

“Greenness?” Drew’s ego bristled at the term, even though he knew she wasn’t wrong. His inexperience had cost him dearly.

“Listen, lad,” Sunny softened, sensing his frustration. “You’ve got the raw talent, the charisma. But this game, it’s as much about the head as it is about the heart and fists.”

Drew stared out at the highway stretching before them as the car hummed along the highway, leaving the city’s gray skyline behind, Drew felt the weight of Sunny’s words settle over him like a wrestler’s cloak—heavy with expectation. The rolling hills of rural Missouri stretched out before them, an expanse of winter-bitten fields dotted with the occasional farmhouse or dilapidated barn.

“2024, Drew,” Sunny said, her voice serious now, “It’s the year you need to elevate your game. You’ve shown you can compete at this level. Now, it’s about rising above just competing.”

Drew nodded, feeling the weight of her words settle over him like a lead blanket. He turned his gaze out the window, watching as the urban landscape gave way to open land. Leafless trees stood guard over the remnants of snow, their bare branches reaching towards the sky in a twisted dance.

“But how?” he asked, unable to keep the insecurity from creeping into his voice. “What’s the next level for me?”

“Consistency,” Sunny replied without missing a beat. “Your talent is there -the crowd, they’re eating up what you’re dishin’ out. But you gotta be relentless. Every match. Every promo. No off nights.”

Drew absorbed her words, letting the rhythm of the engine and the passing scenery lull him into reflection. He watched as they passed by small towns and quaint farmhouses, each one seemingly frozen in time. His thoughts were a tangle of ambition and fear -fear that his inexperience would forever mark him as the perpetual newcomer.

“Where are we going?” he asked suddenly, breaking the silence as a means to distract himself from his internal turmoil.

“Back to Bergman’s Barn,” Sunny replied casually, tapping her fingers against the steering wheel.

A flush of warmth spread across his cheeks at the thought of her, and he couldn’t wait to see her again in the familiar surroundings of the barn.

“Does this mean she’ll be training me, again?” The question came out more hopeful than he intended, his British accent thickening with anticipation.  Drew didn’t hide his excitement at the thought of seeing Dawn McGill again, their encounters brief but intense, a fiery contrast to the cold isolation of the wrestling circuit.

“You’ll see,” was all Sunny offered, a cryptic smile playing on her lips.

In the passenger seat, Drew shifted, allowing himself a momentary daydream of rekindling the spark with Dawn. Her no-nonsense attitude in the ring, juxtaposed with her sultry confidence outside of it, had left quite the impression on him. Yet the recollection also served as a reminder of the duality of their world—the physicality and showmanship mingled with fleeting connections made in transient places.

Turning his attention back to the present, Drew watched the landscape roll by, the barren trees standing like sentinels against the sky—a stark reminder that even in the barest of seasons, growth was possible. It was time to dig deep, to find the fortitude within himself to weather the storms and emerge stronger, more skilled. This journey, much like the one down the quiet Missouri roads, was leading him somewhere new, somewhere necessary.

The red barn loomed ahead, its massive form a beacon amidst the flat, sprawling farmland of Plattin, Missouri. The three-acre property was anchored by the structure like a steadfast champion in the center of the ring. Sunny’s car crunched over the gravel road, signaling their arrival with the sound of pebbles churning beneath tires. She flicked on the left turn signal, and as they approached, a two-story house nestled fifty yards to the northeast came into view—the domain of Joe Bergman and his wife Laura, whose role as Chief Business Officer for Missouri Valley Wrestling was etched into the very foundations of the homestead.

“Here we are,” Sunny announced, her voice tinged with the excitement of returning to familiar ground.

Drew peered out the window, taking in the sight of the barn that seemed to pulse with life. Through the open doors, the rhythmic thuds of bodies hitting the mat and the sharp slaps of flesh-on-flesh strikes created a symphony of disciplined chaos. It was the kind of music that resonated deep within Drew’s soul, fueling his desire to ascend through the ranks.

Inside, the air was heavy with sweat and determination. Wrestlers grappled and sparred, their movements deliberate and forceful—a dance of power and precision. Coaches shouted instructions, their voices echoing off the rafters, as pairs of athletes practiced holds and throws, each trying to outmaneuver the other.

“Oi, look at her go,” Drew muttered under his breath, eyes fixed on the ring where Dawn McGill stood imposingly at ringside. Her gaze was like a laser, cutting through the space between her and the trainee she was drilling—a young wrestler with an almost ethereal presence.

Emma Faith Barbosa-Stevens moved with a grace that belied her solid frame. At 5’10” her stature was commanding, yet it was her hair that drew the eye most—a striking platinum blonde cut asymmetrically, short on one side and cascading long on the other, a visual representation of the duality present in the world of wrestling.

“Whoa,” Drew breathed out, captivated. “She’s something else, isn’t she?”

“Keep your head on straight, kid,” Sunny cautioned, her tone a mix of teasing and warning. “Do you know who that is?”

“No?”

“That’s Emma Faith Barbosa-Stevens,” Sunny said.  She’s Scott Stevens’ daughter.”

“Scott Stevens?” Drew’s thoughts raced, a mixture of intrigue and caution swirling together.  Drew’s first three HOW matches were against Scott Stevens.  Drew won the first two and then lost a cage match to the now- HOW World Champion.  To be involved with the progeny of such a figure was to court both prestige and peril.

“Yep,” Sunny confirmed, popping the ‘p’ with a smirk. “And trust me, you don’t want to get tangled up in that web.”

“Right,” Drew said, but his eyes continued to track Emma’s every move, the way she flowed from one hold into another, a natural in the squared circle. His heart thrummed in his chest with the recognition of a kindred spirit—another warrior dedicated to the craft, another soul seeking glory between the ropes.

Despite Sunny’s words, the seed of curiosity had been planted. Drew could sense the stories that lay behind those determined eyes, the lineage of combat coursing through her veins. Just like him, she was here to forge her own path, to make her mark.

“Focus, Drew,” he reminded himself, dragging his attention away from the mesmerizing sight. “There’s work to do.”

Sunny’s hand on his shoulder steered Drew through the cacophony of clanging metal and grunts, past the haze of exertion that hung over Bergman’s Barn. Wrestlers of varying sizes practiced their takedowns, their dropkicks, their theatrics—the symphony of sweat and dreams.

“Thought I’d be back under Dawn’s wing,” Drew mused aloud, anticipation making his voice a touch too eager as he followed Sunny’s lead toward the towering figure of Dawn McGill.

“Change of plans, love,” Sunny quipped, her words frosted with the chill of revelation.

Drew caught sight the woman who would shape him into wrestling’s next marquee name. She was an amalgam of intensity and experience, medium-length blonde hair pulled back in a no-nonsense ponytail, muscles defined beneath her standard-issue black training gear. Not an ounce of bulk, but every inch screamed veteran savvy.

“Alright, Drew. Meet your new trainer—’Extreme Pizza Delivery Girl’ Tessa Martin,” Sunny introduced, a grin playing on her lips.

Despite feeling a twinge of disappointment at not being under Dawn’s wing for training, Drew was eager to see what Tessa had in store for him. Her veteran savvy was evident in every move she made, and he knew he was in good hands as he continued on his journey to make his mark in the wrestling world.

“Eighteen years tossing bodies instead of dough, eh?” Drew said, eyes roving over Tessa’s athletic form, unable to mask the impish lilt in his British accent. “Guess you could handle my extra topping.”

Tessa rolled her eyes, unamused. “Love, I’m married. And trust me, I’ve handled heavier stuff than your ego.”

Drew cocked his eyes at her and they squared off in the ring, the air thrumming with tension, Drew’s pulse quickened by the challenge.

Sunny watched him circle Tessa, the balls of his feet skimming the canvas, searching for an opening.

“Let’s see what you’ve got,” she challenged, stance grounded, daring him to engage.

Drew could feel his heart pounding in his chest, adrenaline coursing through his veins as both circled each other like predators, eyes locked, searching for any sign of weakness. Drew’s muscles coiled like a spring, ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Tessa stood her ground, exuding an aura of confidence that made Drew both nervous and excited.

“C’mon Drew.  Let’s get this show on the road,” Tessa taunted, her voice dripping with sass.

Drew smirked, his competitive nature driving him forward. They lunged at each other, their bodies colliding in a fierce lockup.  Drew’s hands found the curve of her waist and pulled her towards him in a move more suited for a bar than a ring.

Tessa’s expression darkened like storm clouds over the Missouri plains.

“Hey!” she said, shoving him back.

“Wha-OOOF…”

Tessa unleashed a vicious kick to Drew’s stomach that sucked out all the air from his lungs.  Then she turned, hooked her hands around the back of his neck, and dropped to the mat with her patented Pizza Cut finisher- a move she’d perfected and executed over and over during her eighteen-year wrestling career.

Drew dropped like a rock and hit the ground with a thud, the wind knocked out of him.

“Nice one,” Sunny quipped from ringside.

Tessa stood over him, victorious, a smug smile on her face as she offered a hand to help him up.

“Ow,” Drew said, chest heaving up and down at a rapid pace, catching his breath, and silently hoping to himself that no one saw what just happened.

“That’s lesson number one,” she said with a smirk. “Let’s go, rookie.”

Drew accepted Tessa’s hand and pulled himself up with a newfound respect for her and her skills.

Sunny slapped him in the back, causing Drew to let out a distinct groan.  “You have quite a way of making a first impression, don’t you.”

Scene Two- Missouri Valley Wrestling Headquarters- St. Louis, Missouri
The next night, the air in the small room at the back of the Missouri Valley Wrestling headquarters was thick with the scent of sweat and ambition, a palpable reminder of the physical toil and raw emotion that had poured forth from the ring earlier that evening. A soft glow from the overhead lights cast a warm hue over Sunny O’Callahan, who sat regally in a chair, her attire a stark contrast to the gritty surroundings. The nice dress she wore for the occasion shimmered slightly as she shifted, catching the light and casting playful shadows on the walls.

“Congratulations are in order, Sunny,” Thunderbolt Smith said, his voice steady and reassuring like a metronome keeping time in the chaos of wrestling madness. “Managing both the Men’s Wrestler of the Year and the Tag Team of the Year… that’s no small feat.”

“Thank you, Thunderbolt,” Sunny replied, her accent a charming blend of California cadence with hints of Irish melody. Her frizzy blonde hair framed her face, a single curl rebelliously breaking free to dance across her forehead as she accepted their praise with a grace that belied the rowdiness of her charges.

MVW Champion “Redneck” Bill Dickinson and The Alabama Gang (R.G. Jenkins and Mark Hendry) had been the toast of the night, but it was Sunny’s guidance that helped steered all three men to such heights.

“Bill Dickinson is having the run of his career,” Sunny explained.  “If he beats Charlie Blackwell at MVW’s St. Louis Supershow, he will break Blackwell’s record for the longest MVW title reign.  My job is to just be supportive, stay out of his way, and let Bill do his thing.”

She took a slow sip from her glass, the Southern Comfort within a familiar comfort amidst the evening’s celebrations.

“As for the Alabama Gang, no one thought they could beat Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens at the first PWA show.  But I did.  R.G. and Mark are a great tag team and even though they’ve dropped a few notches in the rankings, they are still a dangerous team.”  Sunny paused and added.  “Just ask No Quarter.  R.G. and Mark gave them everything they could handle.”

“Let’s chat about your new venture,” ‘Long Haul’ Rick Hall interjected, his excitement barely contained as he leaned forward, eager to delve into the meat of the conversation. “Drew Mitchell is stepping into some big shoes at HOW’s Iconic. A gauntlet match is no joke, especially with big time opponents like HOTv Champion John Sektor, Jace Parker Davidson and Steve Solex in the mix.  Drew’s jumping into a pool that’s populated by very experienced sharks.”

Sunny nodded, her demeanor shifting subtly as they broached the topic of her latest protege. Drew’s raw talent was undeniable, but so was his inexperience—an exciting but volatile combination. “It’s true,” she began cautiously, the curl upon her brow furrowing slightly as she considered her words.  “Jace Parker Davidson’s career speaks for itself.  Steve Solex, too.  John Sektor… when he’s not chasing tail at the local bar… is a great wrestler. But Drew’s got a fire in him, and the match… it’s going to be a major test for Drew to find out just where he stands in his development.”

Thunderbolt leaned in, capturing Sunny’s gaze with an intensity that demanded honesty. “What do you think his chances are?”

She hesitated, her mind replaying Drew’s fervent dedication and the wild glint in his eye when he spoke of his ambitions. But there were moments of doubt, too—flashes of uncertainty she had witnessed when he thought no one was looking. “Look, Drew’s unrefined, he’s tempestuous, and… let’s be honest here… sometimes he’s more interested in the ladies than the leg locks,” Sunny admitted.

“There’s been rumors that Drew’s been romantically involved with Dawn McGill,” Thunderbolt stated matter-of-factly.

Sunny waved a wayward lock of hair out of her eyes.  Her continued outward response was more measured.  “He’s young.  He’s impetuous.  He’s… he is who he is.  A young twenty-one year old kid stepping out into the big, bad world and he’s going to have to learn things to hard way.  I’m hoping he’ll spend enough time in the ring to learn. To grow.” She sipped again, the liquid courage soothing her nerves.

“Experience is the best teacher in our business,” Rick agreed, nodding emphatically.

“Drew’s got the goods,” pointed out Sunny.  “But… it’s going to take time.” The conversation ebbed and flowed, with Sunny occasionally twirling the glass in her fingers—a silent ballet of contemplation. “Drew’s journey is just beginning.  The path to where he wants to go… world titles… is going to be strewn with obstacles.  Each obstacle represents an opportunity for Drew to prove himself—or falter.  As Joe Bergman once told me, sometimes you learn more about yourself after a loss.  And losing a close match to Shane Reynolds definitely provided a treasure trove of teachable moments for Drew.  Iconic will be a test,” Sunny conceded, her voice betraying none of her internal tumult. “But that’s what this business is about, isn’t it? Tests. And I believe in Drew. He’s got the heart of a lion and the fight of a street brawler. This match will show us just how much.”

Thunderbolt and Rick exchanged a look of mutual understanding, aware that in the world of professional wrestling, potential was only the starting bell in a relentless bout against destiny.

“Indeed,” Thunderbolt concluded, his tone reflective. “And we’ll all be watching to see how the story unfolds.”

“Thanks Sunny,” Hall said.  “And congratulations.”

“Thanks guys.”

As the interview wrapped up, Sunny stood and left the room with a parting smile to Thunderbolt and Hall, confident in the knowledge that while Drew’s future was uncertain, the thrill of the chase was worth every moment.

Scene Three- Joe Bergman’s Barn- Thursday December 28th
A camera zoomed in, cutting through the dense fog of anticipation that hung over the barn like a heavy cloak. The spotlight cut a swath through the darkness, illuminating a solitary figure standing center stage. Drew Mitchell’s eyes blazed with a fierce intensity that could ignite the very air around him.

Surrounding the ring were the various students and young wrestlers who worked out inside Bergman’s Barn.

“Alright, mates,” Drew began, the microphone in his hand trembling with the force of his grip, his British accent slicing through the charged atmosphere. “I’ve crossed oceans for this because pro wrestling isn’t just a job to me… an occupation… it’s my life… it’s the proof, the bloody validation I need!”

He paced back and forth like a caged animal, his boots thudding in heavy steps against the mat.

“Jace Parker Davidson, Steve Solex…,” he snarls, ticking off the names of some of his opponents in the gauntlet match, “…John Sektor.  Each one of you stands as a testament to the trials I must face at ICONIC. You’re not just men.  You’re the embodiment of every hurdle I will have to leap, every doubter I will have to silence as I climb up the ladder!”

A maelstrom of emotions swirled in Drew’s mind.

“I left my home in the UK for this.  The pain of departure, the solitude of the journey, the relentless hunger that gnaws at my soul.  At ICONIC, I need to prove that all the sacrifices weren’t for naught, that this dream is worth fighting for—even if it means going through hell and back.  Look at me!” Drew bellowed, his voice cracking with fervor. “I’m not here for a laugh or a quick tussle. I’m here to etch my name into the annals of history! To show that some skinny lad from across the pond can conquer giants and become a champion!”

The audience resonated with his words, their cheers echoing his own heartbeat. Drew reached out, his fingers brushing against the imaginary title that hovers just beyond his grasp. He can almost feel its weight upon his shoulder, the cool metal kissing his skin—a sensation both alien and achingly desired.

“A title, it’s more than gold and leather. It’s my destiny!” Drew’s voice softened, but the intensity never wavered. “And one day, whether it’s December 30th at ICONIC… or whenever I hoist a championship high, it won’t just be a victory for Drew Mitchell!”

With a final surge of passion, Drew raised the microphone above his head.

“Because when Drew Mitchell fights,” he vowed, his gaze boring into the camera filming the promo, “Drew Mitchell fights for glory, for pride, and for the undeniable truth that no ocean is too vast to cross when chasing your dream! I am here to claim my destiny, and nothing will stand in my way.”

Drew dropped the mic with a resounding echo that reverberated throughout the barn, his message delivered with a clarity that left no room for doubt.

Tessa Martin rolled into the ring.

“Not bad, kid,” she said.  “Not bad at all.”