The Best Arena
The aftermath of the Q & A session..
“Get off me! Get the fuck OFF ME!”
Adam was vibrating with anger as he tusselled with the red-skull-faced EPU guards. They had dragged him kicking and screaming out of the conference room after he had seen red and attacked Jason Whatley for goading him during the Q &A.
Sektor’s face was white as he watched helplessly from the side, looking stunned and helpless as he tried to process what was happening. He’d never seen Adam like this, which only made the realisation of what he had done land even harder.
“Guy’s, c’mon. Let him go,” Sektor requested.
Two of the EPU guards had worked under Sektor some years ago, so out of respect they followed his wishes and released his young apprentice. Adam shrugged them off and shot Sektor a condemning look before turning to storm off.
“Adam!” Sektor called, softening his tone in an attempt to downplay the situation. “Don’t be emotional.”
Adam stopped dead in his tracks and turned to look at Sektor with utter disbelief. Sektor stood his ground, not wanting to show weakness in the situation. He was in deep and had to commit to his logic.
“Emotional?” he gasped. “You expect me to not be emotional?”
“Adam, she’s not worth it. This is the point I’m trying to get across to you. This is what women do, this is what they are capable of..”
“NO!” Adam interrupted, shaking his head defiantly and curling his lip. “This is all you. You and your bullshit deep seated emotional issues. And I’M the one who ends up getting hurt!”
The two entered a stare down as Sektor was temporarily silenced. He glanced at the EPU guards awkwardly and nodded for them to clear off. Adam watched them leave before turning his attention back to his mentor.
“You knew how I felt about her,” continued Adam, in a deflated voice.
Sektor smirked as though he was mocking the notice, casually walking towards his young student to engage more intimately.
“How can you feel anything for an assembly line hump who does the job on the first date?”
Sektor fell back to the floor like a sack of potatoes as Adam landed a flush right hand square in his mouth. The LSD champion leant back on one arm and touched his lip calmly, smiling at the blood.
“Feel better?” he asked, smiling at Adam.
Adam didn’t say another word. He was too triggered and opted to leave before he did something he regretted.
“You’ll thank me for this one day!” called the champion.
“..the fuck I will!”
It seems to still eat away at you that I have ‘ignored’ your past messages to me. You have taken this as some kind of slight. That I am deliberately staying silent as to somehow demonstrate your stature, in this industry, in my eyes.
I wonder. If I had responded straight away, or given you the praise you so desperately seek and given you a proverbial pat on the back? Would that have helped you in some way? What was it you needed from me?
I saw you. I saw your potential and I had no doubts that you would wind us as the world champion. You’ve lived up to that potential. I wonder if by ignoring you it somehow gave you the push you needed to show me what you can achieve.
I don’t believe that. I believe you would have succeeded either way. You have the skills that fit the M.O of a true great. You have the brains to understand what it takes to achieve success. You have the heart to take a loss and dust yourself off, learning lessons and growing stronger. Above all else?
You are a champion.
I don’t mean that you carry around the World title belt. I mean it in the broader sense. A champion is what is required to really represent a company and division in this sport. I know, because I have done it for so long and I am doing that right now.
It didn’t take you winning the World championship to make me pay attention. I was already watching. I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t on your radar. I had my own agenda. I was busy building up the LSD division and whilst the World title will always be somewhere in my sights? There is a time and a place.
It is clear from your words that you hold me in high regard. I appreciate that. Until recently I rejected all praise and all criticism, coming from the mindset that outside opinions don’t matter to me. However, you are never too old to grow, Connor. Not even me, John Sektor. I’m starting to allow emotions back into my life because I realise now that they aren’t a weakness unless you allow them to be. In fact, channelled correctly? They are a great source of strength. So, for one champion to acknowledge another is a great honour, and I thank you for it.
So what does it mean for us at March to Glory?
Don’t mistake my current change in attitude to reflect weakness. As I have already said, I’m focusing every ounce of energy I have into positivity.
You drew the long straw when it comes to David Noble. You got lucky. You got paired up with a partner who compliments you well and works with you, not against you. Tenure doesn’t matter in this match because you guys have been a team as long as Adam and I have. Pre-preparations may give us some kind of tactical edge, but it means nothing once the bell rings. Everything I have analysed from both of your performances points to this being a very difficult task for Adam and I. We don’t consider you favourites, nor do we consider ourselves. I’d say we were at evens.
Whilst you and David may be a strong united front, at this moment in time I cannot say the same for Adam and I. As I’m sure you’ve read in the media, Adam and I are going through a rough patch. I was concerned for a short time that this may have a major impact on, not just this championship match, but also my LSD title defence against Pleasant.
However, I have had time to reflect. I have seen the errors of my ways and I also trust Adam’s resilience. I know that he will not allow an incident like this to stand in his, or our, way of achieving the Tag Team championships. This comes from forgiveness and renewed trust, that I fully believe I can restore. You don’t get that from two guys who became recent friends. You get that from a bond forged with much deeper roots.
It is the bond that Adam and I share that I believe we will be successful. So then what does this really boil down to?
Us, Connor. Us.
Two captains. Two leaders. Two champions leading our teams to class on the big stage as we both fight to restore credibility to tag team wrestling in HOW. You believe you and David are the chosen two to do that. I believe you can. But I know it will be Adam and I raising our arms and championships in victory. Why, because I am teaching Adam the one lesson you still refuse to learn.
Win, at any cost.
You said yourself that you will beat John Sektor and you will beat him “clean.”
Connor, you have so many great qualities as a champion. But this belief in honour, etiquette and clean winning will be your downfall. It prevents you from going from being a good champion to a great champion, or even a legendary one.
You want to be spoken in the same breath as me one day?
Then do whatever it takes.
If we see an opportunity to bend the rules in our favour to win then we will take it without hesitation. When the bell rings it’s war time Connor and when you get down in the trenches you kiss the Geneva convention goodbye, because it’s about survival and doing whatever it takes to win!
The history records won’t tell you how I got all of my victories and championships. Why? Because it doesn’t matter. All that matters is winning, Connor, no matter the ways or means.
You ever heard the saying – “Nice guys finish last?” It’s true.
I’m not saying that you can’t beat us clean, Connor. We both know you can and it’s our job to figure out how to stop that from happening. All I am saying is that you are foolish if you believe that living by some clean collar code doesn’t give us an advantage in this match.
I began this message by telling you that you have reached your potential. I have no doubts that one day you will evolve your mindset and reach even further.
I don’t think you have the stomach for it.
I wish you both good luck, mi amigo.
John, Fucking, Sektor
Monday, March 21st
The Best Arena
The prodigal son returns..
“That’s it, take it slow.”
Sektor had a barbell in mid squat, attempting a deadlift with the moderate weight. He had been gradually pushing the weight he could bear on his right right knee for the past half an hour. His instructor, Chris, was flicking his eyes back and forth between Sektor’s posture and his heavily strapped up and braced knee.
Sektor pulled the bar across his chest, face bright red as he strained. His feet sat shoulder width apart as he adjusted his dusty, chalked, fingers on the bar.
“Remember, if you feel something just throw the weight,” instructed Chris with an authoritative tone.
Sektor’s legs slowly began to straighten at the knees as he began to lift the weight. With his knee’s fully locked he held it there for ten seconds before releasing and sending it down to the mat below with an echoing clang.
“Good job! How did that one feel?” asked Chris.
Sektor, breathing heavily, wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his wrist. “Fine,” he gasped.
It wasn’t fine. It hurt, but not enough to worry the LSD champion. He knew his body and knee well enough by this time to know where his limitations were.
“Ohhh, look who decided to finally show up,” chimed Chris.
Sektor turned his head curiously in the direction Chris was looking. His expression lit up as he saw Adam strolling into the Best Arena’s training facility. He was dressed in training gear and carrying his bag. Sektor’s expression soon faded as he remembered why Adam had left in the first place.
As Adam approached them calmly, Sektor found himself licking his bottom lip which Adam had busted open the previous week at his own hand.
“You alright, lad?” Chris asked, in his British accent.
He placed an arm on Adam’s shoulder.
“I’m fine. Let’s get to work,” Adam replied, very matter of fact.
Sektor sighed with concern.
“I think you and I should talk first,” suggested his mentor, not taking his eyes off his student.
“Yeah, that’s a good idea,” Chris interjected. “I’ll give you guys some time.”
“There’s no need,” Adram abruptly said. “I’m fine, honestly. I just want to get to work.”
Whilst Adam seemed determined and focussed to knuckle down to training, Sektor and Chris didn’t seem convinced as they looked at one another. A flick of the head from Sektor gave Chris the cue he needed to give them their space. Adam sighed and rolled his head as he saw this, letting out a huff of air as he folded his arms and looked at Sektor.
“Where’ve you been?” Sektor asked, attempting to break the ice.
“Trained in MVW,” he replied, not offering any more information than that.
Sektor nodded, at least pleased that he had kept up his training regime. “I’ve been trying to call you. Called Ray, he said you didn’t want to talk to me. I don’t blame you but..”
“Look, John, I’m obviously still pissed about what’s happened. But I’m here. I want to train and I still want to be your partner so can we just focus on our work?” pleaded Adam, not in the mind space to be opening up wounds.
“Adam, the last time I was in a tag team championship MATCH was with Jatt at War Games. I ended up ripping him a new asshole to the point where I killed every piece of chemistry and harmony we had. We fell flat on our faces and Connor Fuse and Dan Ryan took those belts off us without breaking a sweat.”
Adam stayed quiet, waiting for Sektor to move on with his point. Sektor choked on his words for a moment. He knew what he had to say but he hadn’t said those words for as long as he could remember. Adam’s face strained as he tried to read what Sektor was doing. In the end Sektor relaxed his shoulders and came out with it.
“I’m sorry,” he sighed, bowing his head slightly to show that he was genuine. “I screwed up. I thought I could teach you some kind of fucked up lesson by doing what I did, and..” he paused, struggling to put the words together to explain why he did what he did. “..I shouldn’t have done it. Playing with your emotions was cruel.”
Adam’s face remained stern and unmoving as he stared at his mentor.
“There is good that can come of this Adam,” he continued.
Adam frowned, struggling to comprehend what good could come out of Sektor’s awful actions.
“We all make mistakes. You’re never too old to make them and I am by no means an exception to the rule. But we can learn from them and improve as a person. The guilt I have felt this past week has driven me to sickness. I struggled to eat, I couldn’t sleep.”
Sektor turned away briefly, almost ashamed by the admission of his emotions. He rubbed his moustache and continued to look away as he continued to talk.
“I guess I have learned how important you are to me,” he stated, turning slowly to look at his protege.
Adam’s face was softening, finding himself humbled and feeling honoured to be held in such high esteem by his mentor. He had longed to hear this kind of honesty, to confirm that he wasn’t just an asset of Sektors. Still, he was torn with his feeling of hatred.
“We can’t let something like this derail us, Adam.”
“I told you, it won’t! I’m not going to let your fuckup stand in our way of the tag team championships. I’ve worked too hard for this opportunity,” he claimed, sounding confident in his certainty.
“It’s not enough, Adam. Your heart, desire and determination will only get us so far. We are a team! If we are going to continue to move forward then you have to trust me again.”
Adam chewed on this for a moment, leaving his mentor to stew. Sektor grew impatient and decided to cast one more roll of the dice.
“That starts with your forgiveness,” Sektor croaked.
Adam was apathetic at first, but he knew his mentor was being sincere. Or rather he hoped he was. He felt like his forgiveness was what Sektor needed to hear so that he could move forward. Adam was confident that he could shelve his emotions but Sektor didn’t want that. He wanted to throw them on the table and process them.
“I forgive you,” he finally said.
Sektor looked up at Adam and smiled. He wanted to throw his arms around him like the son he never had and embrace him. However he was wise enough to sense that Adam wasn’t ready for that yet.
“Thank you,” he replied, nodding appreciatively.
With that, he took a big breath in and puffed out his chest before exhaling and slapping his hands together.
“Right, now that’s settled, let’s get to fucking work!”
The Best Arena
March to Glory!
“This is it kid. This is what we have been working for.”
The Gold Standard and his protege Adam Ellis are fully dressed in their wrestling attire, positioned at the curtain. They’re only mere moment’s away from being cued onto the ramp by the opening riff of ‘Dirty Deeds.’
“Remember everything we talked about,” he instructs, pointing a soft finger in Adam’s face as he stands close for a final pep talk.
Adam nods affirmatively.
“Remember your positioning. Remember the game plan.”
Adam nods slowly, his eyes focussed and in the zone as he sways from side to side, fueled with excitement and nerves.
“Don’t forget, if you’re in there with Connor? He’s a lefty. Remember to switch your stance to unorthodox, otherwise everything is thrown out of whack. Leverage. Weight distribution, pressure positions, instep, rotations..if you forget that he has control. DO NOT FORGET!”
“I got it!” he confidently replies.
Sektor straightens up, chest slowly moving up and down as he feels his own nerves and excitement running through him. He reaches up slowly and plants both of his hands on the tops of Adam’s shoulders.
“All that training? All those other wins in this tournament? They don’t mean nothing if we lose here tonight.”
He looks up to rafters.
“You and I have been on a journey these past couple of weeks. But you know what?” he asks.
Adam looks up and the two make eye contact.
“It’s made us stronger. Any team worth its weight in gold has experienced their lows as well as their highs. We’ve come out the other side the better for it and now we are going to go out there and fucking prove it!”
Adam nods more sharply now, beginning to believe.
“This is your time now, rook. You’re about to get in the ring with the World champion. I know you’re not going to let that faze you. Go show the fucking world who Adam Ellis is. The mother fucking future of this company. The future of pro wrestling.”
Adam smirks as he feeds off Sektor’s energy, beginning to believe the hype. His head snaps in the direction of the curtain as “Dirty Deeds” blasts around the Best Arena, accompanied by the thunderous roar from the crowd.
“IT’S GO TIME KID. LET’S GO SHOW THE WORLD WHO THE NEXT HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING..TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD ARE! TOGETHER!”
Sektor holds out his hand and Adam slaps it firmly, hanging onto it as both of their arms tighten to symbolise their bond.