Charlotte, North Carolina
“Great job, kid.”
The young rookie from Missouri, Adam Ellis, stood in the middle of the Octagon with his arm raised by the Gold Standard John Sektor. The crowd applauded as the young man punched his fist into the air, breathing heavily and dripping with sweat. Sektor took a step back, clapping in his smart clothes and allowing his newest protege to have his moment. The LSD title was nowhere to be seen. This was Adam’s night and Sektor didn’t want anything to overshadow it.
Adam is as young and freshed faced in appearance as he is in age. He has the face of a male model and the curly blonde locks of a teenage heartthrob. Whilst Sektor’s features told a harrowing tale of hard work, suffering and battle scars, Adam’s was still in the prologue, untouched and uncorrupted. He was an inch taller than Sektor, but his frame was not quite as strong. Still, he had an athletic physique that any man his age would be happy to have. He certainly looked the part when it comes to what many people expect of a modern pro-wrestler.
Sektor had been on the lookout for a new project. He was fully committed to his new, positive, way of thinking and believed wholeheartedly that teaching was as beneficial to him as it was to his students. One day, when father time eventually catches up to him, he wants someone to carry on his legacy by building on everything he has learned over the years. It was early days for Adam, but he had seen potential in him when he cast eyes on him in MVW. Joe Bergman spoke highly of him and he was the blank canvas he was looking for.
Adam was on cloud nine at this moment. He’d been promoted to the main roster at MVW for next season and had just won his debut at HOFC1. His trials, however, were just about to begin.
Sektor’s fellow Alliance member, and former tag partner, Jatt Star was crouching by the side of Wabbid Wabbit, the fallen opponent to Adam Ellis. He was nursing his neck as his manager glared in the direction of his stablemate, his eyes burning with contempt. Sektor acted as though he was invisible, smirking to himself before patting Adam on the back and gesturing towards the exit of the octagon.
As the two exited the octagon, Adam turned to lean into his manager’s ear.
“Thank you so much, you have no idea what this means to me,” Adam choked, visibly emotional from his biggest win to date.
“Enjoy it, kid. Now the real work starts,” Sektor explained, his steely eyes focussed on the curtain as they made their way to the back.
The two made their way back to their locker room, Adam being congratulated and patted on the back by members of the crew. His face beamed with pride whilst Sektor just maintained his serious demeanor.
As they entered the locker room, Ellis was clearly still buzzing from the result, running his hands through his hair and pacing around the room as it all began to sink in. Sektor, meanwhile, was slowly closing the door.
“Oh my God, this feeling is incredible! I literally..” he began, before being abruptly interrupted by his manager.
“You made a lot of mistakes,” he snapped, rather bluntly.
Sektor regarded the stunned rookie out of the corner of his eye as he passed him, leaning against the lockers with his arms folded. Sektor raised his eyebrows, telling Adam with his eyes that he was waiting for some kind of response. It was clear that Adam was choking on his words, like a child about to be disciplined and he didn’t want to fall into any kind of trap.
“Are you mad at me?” Adam asked, his face conflicted and confused.
“No,” laughed Sektor with a smirk. “You won! That’s all that matters in the end and I am pleased. BUT, It’s my job to bring you back down to earth and keep your feet on the ground.”
Ellis’ relief was abundantly clear by the audible exhale of gas from his lungs. He nodded appreciatively, acknowledging that his performance was far from perfect.
“Win or lose Adam, every match is a learning exercise. The win is in the books but now you need to reflect on what went wrong in there, how you can improve for next time. I can stand here and break it down for you and we will go through it. But I wasn’t there. You will know where you went wrong,” Sektor explains, keeping his voice stern and authoritative.
“So, there’s going to be a next time?” Adam asked, his face lighting up at the possibility.
The Gold Standard merely offered a shrug.
“That all depends on you. I’ll put your name forward again but, if I don’t see enough from you in the next few weeks? I’ll pull you out. Every match is going to get harder and harder from here.”
Adam threw his arms out wide, puffing out his chest and raising his chin with a visible representation of his newly fuelled confidence.
“I’m ready, man! I’m one hundred percent committed to this process and I’ll do anything you ask.”
Sektor smirked, enjoying his apprentice’s enthusiasm.
“Well, for now? Enjoy this night. Because starting from tomorrow? You’re going to step back into my shadow.”
His gaze left Adam’s, leaving a coldness in their wake, as Adam was yet again left confused and wondering what his mentor meant by this. He silently watched as Sektor began to pack up his belongings, plucking up the courage to enquire.
“W-hat, do you mean?” Adam eventually asked, swallowing hard.
“What I mean, Adam, is that I have an LSD championship to defend next week. Which means that every ounce of my focus and attention will be on that,” he explained, in a matter of fact way. “So you will watch, and learn. You will train with me but this is all about me. So any distractions and I’ll kick your ass back to Missouri. Are we clear?” he asked, slamming his locker shut and turning to look his student dead in the eyes.
Adam nodded instantly. “Of course, absolutely.”
“Good. I’m going to head back to my hotel and get some sleep. I suggest you do the same because first thing in the morning we’re heading to Charleston,” he bluntly explained, throwing his bag down at Adam’s feet. “Bring that with you after you’ve showered.”
As Sektor headed towards the door, he sensed the awkward silence seeping out of the open pores of his student. Turning with a raised brow, he cocked his head slightly.
“N-No, well..” began Ellis nervously.
“Fuck sake kid, spit it out!”
“Well, it’s just I didn’t know we were planning on staying here, is all,” he explained, running a nervous hand through his wet mop of blonde curls.
“I’m competing in Charleston next week! What’s the point of going all the way home only to come back again? Travel makes me tired and I want to be fresh and ready to get this first title defence off without a hitch,” he explained calmly, having genuine logic behind his decision to remain in Carolina.
“Yeah, it makes sense. It’s just, I promised my girlfriend I’d spend some time with her, that’s all,” he continued, offering Sektor the puppy eyes as if he didn’t know who he was dealing with.
Sektor’s face screwed up into a ball of disgust as he resembled a bulldog chewing a wasp.
“You fucking kidding me?” he snapped, his eyes glaring with rage. “I have an LSD championship match against a hungry Steve Harrison, and all you can think about is finger banging Ms Daisy back in Missouri?”
“Her name’s Polly..”
“I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT HER NAME IS!”
The volume of his voice caused Adam to visibly flinch in fright. His words echoed off the cold walls as his eyes continued to burrow further and further into his soul.
“Look. You either want this or you don’t. I’m not going to waste my time on you if you don’t have your fucking priorities straight.”
Adam instantly began to wave his hands and shake his head defensively.
“No, no I’m sorry. You’re right, of course I’ll stay. Polly will understand. Maybe she will come to Charleston for a couple of days..”
Again Adam jumped about ten feet in the air as the sound of Sektor’s fist, reverberating off a locker, sent an impactful shudder down his spine.
“WAKE UP!” screamed Sektor, angrily pulling at his own hair and pacing around in circles.
Eventually he calmed himself, as though counting back from ten and forcing himself to smile.
“Listen, I know you’re young and you’re learning, but I really need you to grasp just how important I am, and how important it is that I defend the LSD championship next week.”
“Oh, man, I know! You know I’d give my right arm to be in your shoes and I honestly feel blessed that you’ve given me this opportunity. I can’t thank you enough,” preached the young apprentice, trying to earnestly portray his gratitude towards his mentor.
“I can’t have unnecessary distractions, and neither can you. This is boot camp time. Women, they bring drama and distraction and I can’t have that. They’re a negative species, they can’t help it and I need to surround myself with positivity at the moment. That’s why I selected you Adam. Bergam went on and on about how upbeat and positive you are.”
A conflict of pride and sorrow was paining the face of the young warrior, whilst Sektor curls his lip at the thought of a woman standing in his way.
“I have had to make sacrifices that still haunt me to this day. But you have to tear away the mould,” he explained, gesturing for Adam to take a seat.
Ellis lowered himself onto a foldout chair, keeping his eyes fixated on his mentor as he hung on his every word. Sektor pulled out a chair opposite, sitting across from him with his body open and relaxed.
“There are some nights when my dreams are full of debris, those broken parts of my past that I realise will probably stay with me until the day I die,” continued Sektor, his eyes staring into his own memories. “I’m not tortured by them, and yet they come back again and again. Recollections from the most gruelling moments of my career and training. Scenes from my broken marriage, my failures as a father, they all return to me during the night. Most persistent of all are the memories of my childhood, the psychological abuse that I endured from my brother and father and the neglect of a mother who chose to blind herself with booze.”
Adam’s expression was foaming with empathy as he listened intently. Sektor was very matter of fact, having reached a point in his life where his demons have become a pillar of strength.
“Childhood, my teenage years? Those memories are still so vivid to me, perhaps more so than those from any other part of my life. For everyone, it’s an awkward stage. I was no different. You think you know everything; in reality you know fuck all! Everything’s in a whirl, and it’s so hard to work out who you are and what you’ve been put on this planet to do.”
His eyes blinked slowly as he exited the vault that he kept locked away in the back of his mind, turning his gaze back to his young apprentice.
“When I realised I wanted to become a wrestler? I cut away the mould that was festering and holding me back. I cut ties with my parents and went into the world on my own. But soon enough a new mould attached itself to me and I was yet again faced with a choice of what I wanted. See, Adam, that’s what you will soon realise,” he explained, leaning forward slightly and looking him firmly in the eyes to make sure he emphasised his final point. “You can’t have it all!”
The notion seemed to resonate with Adam as a degree of hope began to vanish from his youthful and innocent eyes.
“When you decide what is truly important to you in life, you have to be selfish and pursue it relentlessly. That’s why I’m a Hall of Famer. That’s why I’m the best technical wrestler in the world and that’s why I am the current LSD champion. It is my selfishness and ruthlessness that will help me retain the LSD championship against Steve Harrison next week.”
Adam smiles out of one corner of his mouth, nodding enthusiastically at the notion of Sektor defending his high profile championship.
“I didn’t invite you into my life to be a distraction, Adam. That’s when you become the mould,” he said, standing up and looking down at him. “I brought you in to make me better, and to potentially ensure that you carry on my legacy. You think you have what it takes?”
Adams face scrunched up, serious and confident and he nodded his head.
“Good. Then shower up and bring my bags to the bar. I’ll be getting a drink,” he grumbled, rolling his eyes as he left the room, leaving Adam alone with his thoughts.
Where do I begin with you, hermano?
Let’s start with some positives.
Did you know that the last time we faced I was shitting myself? I know, it’s almost unbelievable to me too, especially now I am back in the right frame of mind. But I was having a crisis of confidence, Steve. Lee had been feeding me easy wins and booking me in tag matches up to that point and I was cruising along nicely. When he booked the match I tried to squirm my way out of it.
I’m sure that strokes your ego, and as it should. You were undefeated and in my eyes a fearsome opponent. However, Lee believed it was time for that ego of yours to be deflated, and so he sent in the ring general to put an end to your winning streak and bring you back down to earth.
He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.
Because I’m that fucking good, that’s why.
Lee came to me not long after that match and informed me he was looking to add a couple of new recruits to the Alliance. As one of his two veterans he had at his disposal, he asked for my opinion on who we should add.
I gave him two names:
…and Steve Harrison.
See, I saw something in you. Now, as it turns out I was completely fucking wrong about that other pikey dick-head. The jury is still out on you, you haven’t exactly set the world on fire, but you’ve been consistent. Which is important.
You have unbelievable potential Harrison. You can achieve anything you want but right now, at this moment in time? You’re not ruthless enough. Case and point, you say that it should be difficult to face one of your comrades?
No, it really shouldn’t be Harrison. I would cripple my own mother to defend this championship, but that isn’t saying much. Point is, when that bell rings I don’t care how many laughs we’ve had, how much money we’ve won together..or lost because you get Harrisoned and recklessly lose a percentage of my STASH…
..don’t get me started.
Anyway, as I was saying, the moment that bell rings I become a primitive animal who is fighting for survival. Fighting to retain MY LSD championship. I couldn’t give two fucks about the Best Alliance at that point because this championship stays with me, which ultimately, to the BA? Is all that fucking matters.
What? You want to shake hands and have a sportsman-like match? Get the fuck outter here, man, you should know better. If you want this championship you’re gonna have to do more than reflect on your younger days. You’re gonna have to reflect on who you are NOW, at this moment in time, and you have to ask yourself..
“Do I have what it takes to beat John Sektor for the LSD title?”
What’s changed for you since I last beat you? I was at forty percent when I beat you last time, now I’m a hundred-and-ten. I’ve lost the fat, I’ve bulked up, I’m toned, my cardio is better, I’m quicker on my feet and most importantly?
I’m mentally stronger!
So your assessment of me was correct, I do indeed find it incredibly easy to go toe to toe with another Best Alliance member, in fact I’m more likely to hit even harder because the BA are supposed to represent the most vicious, the most sadistic, the most barbaric…
Do you fit that bill?
I can’t answer that.
I do everything for myself, Harrison, because what I achieve is what is best for the group. I took the tag titles from you and Jiles because at the time you and Jiles were like chalk and cheese and Jatt and I were thick as thieves. That fell apart before War Games and I couldn’t foresee that. But I did what was best for business.
I like you Steve. It’s sweet that you think of yourself as the “glue” that holds the Best Alliance together. However, I’m sorry to inform you that if I killed you next Saturday you would be replaced the following week. The same goes for me homie, so don’t feel bad about it.
There is only one man who has ever been consistent in the Best Alliance and that man is God himself. We all have our own role. I know what mine is. I’m the hitman that Lee sends out to beat a mother fucker.
Eric Dane – boom!
High Fligher – boom!
Steve Harrison- boom!
Teddy Palmer- boom!
We both know why this match was booked. Lee likes to gamble. He is risking fucking up his LSD championship match at Bottomline, you’re just his cover bet to make sure that if he does fuck up then the title stays with the BA. Let’s be honest though, we’ve seen the odds for this match and I’m the odds-on favourite and you are the underdog.
Nothing wrong with being the underdog, Steve, in fact I’ve won many a title with those odds stacked against me. There should be no pressure on you, you have nothing to lose and I have it all to lose.
But unlike the first time we faced, I’m heading to Charleston knowing that I am leaving with the LSD championship over my shoulder. That’s the difference. I already know I’ll win because I have to take this championship to Bottomline and beat Teddy Palmer again.
You said it yourself and I’ve heard all the whispers. All this bullshit about him not being a hundred percent or some shit about him being ‘nine out of ten?’ Whatever, it doesn’t matter because I’m going to beat him again to prove that I am better than him.
I certainly won’t allow the LSD division to become the ‘Lee and Steve Division.’ Jesus fucking Christ, man, did you actually stop and think before you allowed that to come out of your mouth.
I’ll put it down to you being Harrisoned again.
So what’s in this for you? Well I’m glad you asked because as you should realise you are a better man and a better wrestler after competing against me. That’s why Lee booked this match. That’s the real truth. He knows that I have a habit of getting people to up their game and go up a gear. It’s a nasty habit but I can’t help it, that’s why I’m the Gold Standard mother-fucker.
Now you get to face me at my best.
Forget reflecting on your younger years, because I’m about to hold up a big fucking mirror and show you who you really are. You will stare at your own ugly secrets and become abruptly aware of all your weaknesses.
Because I’m going to expose every single one of them.