The Alabama Gang Do the Bachata

The Alabama Gang Do the Bachata

Posted on July 12, 2023 at 9:50 pm by Joe Bergman

Act One- Walt’s 24/7 Gym / Troy, Alabama
The weight room at Walt’s 24/7 Gym in Troy, Alabama bathed in the warm glow of overhead fluorescent lights as R.G. Jenkins worked out. With a black bandana covering his bald head and sporting a black sleeveless vest with jeans and boots, the old-school, no-nonsense wrestler grunted through another set of bench presses. At thirty-nine years old, R.G. had seen it all during his two decades in the wrestling business. But now, as one-half of MVW ‘s Men’s Tag Team Champions, he was determined to make sure no let up as they trained for their upcoming match against the Masters of the Moscowverse.

“Come on, baby,” Melanie Jenkins, R.G.’s wife, encouraged him from the other side of the gym. “Push through that burn!”

R.G. drew in a deep breath and pushed the barbell up one last time before letting out a guttural cry of exertion. He racked the weights with a clang and sat up, wiping the sweat off his brow with a white towel.

“Great job, R.G.” Melanie said.

“Dammit, I’m gonna show those Moscow-whatevers just what a real wrestler looks like.”

Melanie walked over, her toned body glistening with perspiration from her own workout. The twenty-five-year-old blonde grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin, and had met R.G. at an Appalachian Mountain Championship Wrestling show in Blacksburg, Virginia six years ago. A year after they first met, they were married.

Melanie was in incredibly good shape.  Her athletic build was the result of daily yoga sessions, running five miles every morning, pole dancing, and exotic dancing.

“Baby, I know you will,” she said, placing a hand on R.G.’s shoulder. “You’ve got that fire in your eyes, and ain’t no one gonna put it out.”

“Damn straight,” R.G. replied, his southern drawl thickening with intensity. “Those Moscowverse boys ain’t gonna know what hit ’em.”

“Watch your language, honey,” Melanie admonished playfully, swatting him on the arm. “But seriously, you’ve been in this game a long time. You not only now know what it takes to win but for the first time in your career, in your mind, you believe that you can compete against the best.  You proved that against Dan Ryan and Jatt Starr.”

“Yup,” R.G. agreed, catching his breath. “And I ain’t about to let some young upstarts keep us from what we worked so hard for… to regain the PWA Tag title.” He glanced at his wife, her eyes filled with pride and admiration. “You’ve stuck with me every step of the way, Mel.”

“You and me, R.G.”

“And we’re gonna keep doing it together.”

“Always,” she affirmed, leaning in for a quick kiss. “Now come on, let’s get back to work. Those weights ain’t gonna lift themselves.”

With that, R.G. Jenkins went back to work on his bench press routine while Melanie continued her workout, matching her husband’s tenacity with her own.

Just as R.G. was about to start a new set, the gym doors swung open with a loud bang. In sauntered Mark Hendry, R.G.’s tag team partner in the Alabama Gang, a cocky grin plastered on his youthful face. Dressed in the signature ‘Alabama Gang’ t-shirt and jeans, he had one hot girl hanging off each arm, both giggling at his southern drawl. Over his shoulder, the MVW Men’s Tag Team title belt gleamed proudly.

“Hey there, R.G.! Look what I found outside!” Mark said, his voice dripping with enthusiastic smugness. “Ain’t they somethin’?”

R.G. clenched his jaw, feeling the frustration bubbling up inside him. The veins in his arms bulged as he racked the weights, his focus momentarily wavering from his workout.

“Mark, I don’t give a damn what or who you found,” R.G. growled, standing up to face his partner. “We’re here to train, not to entertain your little… distractions.”

“Aw, come on, R.G.,” Mark said, feigning innocence. “I just thought we could have some fun before our match against those Moscowverse boys. You know, lighten the mood a bit.”

“Fun?” R.G. spat, his eyes narrowing. “You think this is all about fun? This ain’t no game, boy. This is the big time.  We’re representin’ Missouri Valley Wrestling on a big stage, and that means we need to be takin’ things seriously.”

“Seriously?” Mark scoffed, glancing down at the championship belt draped over his shoulder. “R.G., we outweigh Kenny Freeman and Randall Schwartz by over a hundred pounds between us. They ain’t got nothin’ on us.”

“Weight ain’t everythin’, Mark,” R.G. retorted, his voice low and dangerous. “Those two took down a damn good tag team from SHOOT two weeks ago. You think we can just walk in there and win the match without puttin’ in the work?”

Mark’s grin faltered, replaced by a sheepish expression as R.G.’s words sank in.

“Girls, I think it’s time for y’all to leave,” R.G. said firmly, his gaze fixed on Mark. “We got work to do.”

“Awwwwwww,” one of the girls said, sharing a disappointed glance with the other before both reluctantly untangled themselves from Mark’s arms and headed for the door. As soon as they were gone, R.G. turned back to his partner, the anger still simmering beneath the surface.

“Listen, Mark,” he began, his voice tense but controlled. “I’ve been doin’ this a hell of a long time, and I know what happens when you take an opponent too lightly.  There’s no shortcuts in the Alabama Gang,  Now let’s get to work.”

With that, R.G. returned to his bench press, determination etched on his face. Mark, chastised, took his place beside him, matching his partner’s intensity as they pushed their bodies to the limit in preparation for their upcoming match.

The gym’s fluorescent lights flickered overhead, casting a harsh glare on R.G. Jenkins’ weathered face as he wiped a bead of sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. His eyes never left Mark Hendry, who was struggling to catch his breath after an intense round of sparring. It was clear that the younger wrestler had much to learn.

“Mark,” R.G. drawled in a low voice, “I’ve been wrasslin’ for over twenty years, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that ya can’t take any opponent lightly. No matter how big or strong you think you are, there’s always someone out there who’ll surprise ya.”

Mark nodded, his chest heaving as he gasped for air. “Yeah, I know,” he muttered, avoiding R.G.’s gaze.

“Freeman and Schwartz took down a top-notch tag team from SHOOT just two weeks ago, son,” R.G. continued, his voice steady but stern. “If we don’t give ’em the respect they deserve, we’re gonna end up just like those SHOOT fellas – flat on our backs, starin’ up at the lights.”

Mark swallowed hard, finally meeting R.G.’s eyes. “You’re right, R.G.,” he said quietly. “I screwed up. I let those girls distract me, and I lost my focus on why we’re here – beatin’ those Moscow-vites and earnin’ a PWA Tag title shot.”

“All right then,” R.G. said.  “Let’s do this.”

With renewed vigor, Mark followed R.G.’s lead, absorbing every bit of wisdom the seasoned veteran had to offer. They worked on counters, reversals, and teamwork maneuvers – the kind that could only be achieved through years of experience and a deep understanding of one’s partner.

As they drilled each technique, R.G. carefully explained the reasoning behind them, sharing stories from his own illustrious career where he’d used these moves to gain the upper hand in seemingly hopeless situations. Mark listened intently, hanging on every word, his mind racing with ideas on how to incorporate what he was learning into his own unique style.

“Remember,” R.G. said as they took a brief break, “it ain’t just about strength or size. It’s about heart, grit, and bein’ able to adapt to whatever your opponents throw at ya.”

Mark nodded solemnly, his eyes fixed on the floor.

“R.G., I won’t let you down,” Mark promised between breaths, wiping the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. “We’re gonna win Sunday and then we’re gonna win those titles back from Ryan and Starr and show everyone what the Alabama Gang is all about.”

“Damn right we will,” R.G. agreed, clapping his partner on the back. “But to get that chance, first we need to take care of our own business and that’s Freeman and Schwartz.”

“I know, R.G.”

As the gym echoed with the sounds of heavy lifting and grunts of exertion, R.G. knew in his mind if he and Hendry stayed focused, put the work in, and be prepared, the Alabama Gang would emerge victorious against the Masters of the Moscowverse at Chaos 37.

Act Two-Miami International Airport / Miami, FL
The humid air of Miami International Airport clung to the skin like a second layer as R.G., Mark, Melanie, and Sunny O’Callahan strode through the gate- each pulling their carry-on bag behind them. They were embarking on a journey to Montevideo, Uruguay for Chaos 37.  The group made their way to the boarding area.  R.G. couldn’t help but scoff at the thought of their opponents for Sunday: Masters of the Moscowverse, Kenny Freeman and Randall Schwartz.

“Power of communism on their side?” R.G. muttered with disdain, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “More like the power of delusion.”

Mark, his bearded face betraying none of the youthful excitement he felt inside, nodded in agreement. Sunny, her frizzy blonde hair bouncing with each step, chimed in, her Californian accent mingling with traces of Irish lilt. “Yeah, they don’t stand a chance against the Alabama Gang.”

“Damn right,” Melanie added, her athletic figure drawing envious stares from passersby.

As they settled into their seats on the plane, R.G. couldn’t help but let his mind wander to the upcoming match. He knew that they had trained hard, and had no doubt about their ability to put up a fight. But it wasn’t just about the physical preparation; it was also about strategy and teamwork.

“Mark and I need to make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to dealing with Freeman and Schwartz,” R.G. thought to himself, “We’ve got the power and the skill to take them down. No gimmicks or fancy tricks are necessary. But we’ve got to rise to the occasion.”

As the plane began to taxi down the runway, R.G. couldn’t help but feel a mixture of excitement and nerves. Consumed by thoughts of the upcoming match, R.G replayed different scenarios and strategies in his head. With Mark focused on the job at hand, he felt confident that they had what it took to bring home a win for the Alabama Gang. The weight of responsibility was heavy on his shoulders, but he was determined to rise to the occasion and bring his A-game to Chaos 37.

As the plane soared into the sky, R.G. felt a surge of determination wash over him. He gazed out of the window at the vast expanse of blue sky beyond, marveling at the beauty of the world below. His thoughts turned to his wife, and he fidgeted with his wedding ring, lost in thought. Melanie noticed the movement and placed her hand on his, giving it a reassuring squeeze. The gesture meant the world to R.G., and he felt a sense of calm wash over him. He knew that with his team and his wife by his side, he could conquer anything that Chaos 37 threw his way. “You’re in the zone,” she said softly.

“More than ever,” R.G. replied, his gravelly voice filled with determination. “I want those PWA Tag belts back with the Alabama Gang. It’s what we’ve been working towards, and I know we can do it.”

“Damn right, we can,” Mark chimed in, adjusting his ‘Alabama Gang’ t-shirt as if to emphasize his allegiance. “Ain’t nobody gonna stand in our way.”

“Couldn’t have said it better myself,” R.G. grinned, clapping Mark on the shoulder. “The whole world is watching us, and we going to show them what we’re made of. We’ve got a PWA title to go win back, and that means we have to care of business against Freeman and Schwartz.”

“Absolutely,” Sunny agreed in between sips from her bottle of Southern Comfort, her Californian lilt breaking through her Irish accent. “I would love nothing more than to see the look on that perv, Jatt Starr’s face when the Alabama Gang regains the PWA Tag titles..”

After several hours in the air, the aircraft finally landed in Montevideo, and the quartet alighted, eager to confront whatever challenges lay ahead. As they strolled through the bustling airport, R.G. furrowed his brow in deep concentration, his mind already conjuring up vivid images of the upcoming match. The scent of jet fuel mingled with the briny tang of the nearby ocean, creating an alluring fragrance that only served to heighten their excitement and anticipation.

“Welcome to Uruguay,” Melanie said, taking a deep breath as they stepped out into the South American sun. “Oooh.  It feels a little cool here,” she observed, marking the fact that it was the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Feels like a good place for a win,” Mark remarked, his eyes scanning the bustling airport traffic.

“Damn right it does,” R.G. agreed, his jaw set in a fierce expression of determination. “Let’s get through customs and start preparing for battle.”

With each step they took towards customs, R.G. and Mark couldn’t help but feel the anticipation building up inside of them. They were on their way to fulfilling their mission at Chaos 37 and take one more step forward towards a date with destiny at HOW’s #97Red pay-per-view.

Act Three: Hotel Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco and Spa / Montevideo, Uraguay
The dim light of the hotel room cast a warm glow on Melanie’s golden hair as she swayed to the music. She was teaching R.G. how to do the Bachata, a sultry and alluring dance originating from Latin America. Unlike other Latin American dances that move from side to side, Bachata involved a forward-to-backward motion and its tempo was slower compared to other popular dances such as salsa or merengue.

Melanie’s lithe body moved gracefully like a willow tree in a gentle breeze. R.G., however, stood nearby, drenched in sweat, his muscles tense, and his brow furrowed in concentration. The contrast between them was striking.

“Melanie?” he said, completely lost.

“Okay, R.G., just follow my lead,” Melanie said with an encouraging smile, her blue eyes sparkling. “Remember, Bachata is all about smooth, sensual movements.”

“Yeah, but smooth, sensual movements ain’t exactly in my wheelhouse,” R.G. replied as he took a deep breath and stepped closer to her, his hands hesitating before they found a resting place on her slender waist. He tried to mimic her movements, but his bulky wrestler’s frame didn’t seem to flow as effortlessly as hers did.

“Relax, babe,” Melanie whispered, her sweet breath tickling his ear. “Let the music guide you.”

R.G. closed his eyes and tried to feel the rhythm of the slow, sultry beat. His hips swayed back and forth at first in an awkward motion and slowly began to move more broadly with Melanie’s body. The silver band on her arm jingled against the buttons on his shirt as their bodies pressed together. They glided around the hotel room in a perfect circle as if they were waltzing. As their bodies connected, the connection between them intensified.

“Thank you for coming down again, Mel,” he murmured, his voice thick with emotion. “I know being on the road with me can be tough sometimes.”

“Hey,” she replied softly, her gaze never leaving his as they swayed together. “I’ll always go wherever you want to go. I love you, and I want to be by your side, no matter what.”

R.G.’s heart swelled at her words, and he pulled her closer, feeling the warmth of her body against his as they continued to dance. Their love for each other was undeniable, a bond that transcended the physical realm and anchored them together through the highs and lows of life.

As they danced, R.G. felt a sense of peace.  No matter what challenges the wrestling world threw at him, he knew Melanie would always be there, supporting him, loving him, and reminding him of what truly mattered in the end.

As the music faded, R.G. gently dipped Melanie and pressed his lips to hers in a tender kiss. Their eyes locked for a moment before she broke away with a sly smile.

“Wait ’til you see what I bought just for this trip,” she teased, her voice playfully seductive. With a wink, she disappeared into the bathroom to change.

R.G. leaned against the wall, a contented smile on his face as he imagined in his mind just what Melanie had in store for tonight. His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden pounding on their hotel room door. Frowning, R.G. opened it to reveal Sunny, her frizzy blonde hair wild and her eyes wide with urgency.

“R.G., we’ve got a problem,” she said, out of breath.

“What is it?”

Mark got himself into a fight over a couple of señoritas at one of the local bars. The cops came and arrested him and they took him away!” She spoke quickly.

R.G.’s heart sank.

“Dammit, Mark,” R.G. muttered under his breath, rolling his eyes as thoughts of a romantic evening went out the window. “Alright, let’s go get him and bail him out.”

Just as R.G. started to head towards the bathroom to let Melanie the situation, the creaky door of the bathroom opened and Melanie stepped out in an overly revealing red nightie, which clung tightly to her curvaceous body, leaving very little to the imagination.

Sunny spat out the Southern Comfort she’d just drank.

R.G., who just saw a romantic evening with Melanie go up in smoke, began to feel even more aggravated and aggrieved towards Mark.

Melanie’s jaw dropped when she saw Sunny also standing there inside the hotel room.

“Hi Sunny,” Melanie said with an awkward smile, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment.  “Uh, what’s going on?”

“Sorry, babe,” R.G. said, “Mark’s in jail.”

“Oh.” Melanie covered up as best she could.

“We’re gonna have to go and get him out.”

“Um… okay…, Melanie frowned but nodded.  “Just give me a couple of minutes to change.”

R.G. couldn’t help but feel a pang of regret as he watched Melanie disappear back into the bathroom with a sigh.

“Sorry, R.G.” Sunny mumbled, her gaze downcast as she sensed his disappointment.

“Can’t be helped,” he replied. The night had started out with so much promise after a hard day spent working out and preparing for Chaos 37 and then this happened.

Melanie emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later dressed in jeans and a simple t-shirt. She caught R.G.’s eye and gave him a small, reassuring smile with a wink.

“All right,” R.G. said, “let’s go get him.”

And with that, R.G., Melanie, and Sunny left the hotel room and headed toward the police station to bail Mark out and deal with the consequences of his actions.

“Welcome to Uruguay, indeed,” Melanie said.