The Cold Hard Slap of Reality

The Cold Hard Slap of Reality

Posted on February 24, 2024 at 7:11 pm by Drew Mitchell

LaQuinta Inn- Altoona, Iowa… Wednesday Morning-February 20th
The soft rays of dawn slid through the fabric of the curtain and revealed the tangled sheets on the bed… a rather clear indication of the activities that went on the night before.  Under the sheets… mostly… Drew Mitchell and Victoria McGill.  Both stirred as the dark room began to be illuminated by the faint light of the rising sun.

Tori sat up briefly and shifted her weight on the bed to prop herself up on an elbow to gaze down at Drew… strands of her beach blonde hair in her eyes and falling in waves around her face.  Her eyes sparkled with a hint of mischief as she watched him intently while Drew’s usually charming British accent remained silent as he slowly came to.  A crackle of static electricity filled the air when he finally rolled over and his eyes opened.

“Good ’morning,” Victoria said.

“Oi?”

“Drew,” she started, her voice a mix of tenderness and resolve, “Look, you have no idea how much fun this has been the past few weeks.  And yeah, it does give me a kick, knowing how it gets under my mom’s skin.” She laughed softly, a smirk played on her lips as she thought about her rebelliousness against her mother.  “My mother can’t stand the fact that I’ve been sleeping with you after she did.”

She gazed into his eyes, searching for understanding. The playful spark in her own gaze was tempered by the steel of determination that underpinned her career as Missouri Valley Wrestling’s reigning Women’s Champion. Her long, toned legs stretched out beneath the sheets, hinting at the strength and agility that had carried her this far.

“But…”

Drew sighed.  He knew there was a ‘but…’ coming.

“…right now, I need to get back to work.  I’ve got to focus on Jenny Colton and my title defense in two weeks against her.  Time is creeping up on me and I need to be at my best.”  Her laughter faded, replaced by a sobering firmness.  “And my boss… Jill Berg… CEO of Jill Berg Enterprises… pretty much told me to drop the ‘distractions’ and get ready for the match.”

Drew gave a slight nod, propping himself up on one elbow. His boundless energy was momentarily quelled by her words. “Right, I understand, Tori.”

She nudged him playfully, yet behind the gesture was the seriousness of someone who knew the grueling effort required to stay on top in the wrestling world.  “Don’t get me wrong, Drew.  Being with you is its own kind of rush… but the ring?  That’s where I prove myself. And you… you really need to do the same. I know Sunny’s trying to help you in your career and she won’t tolerate anything less than your best.” Her tone was a blend of challenge and encouragement, characteristic of someone used to the spotlight and the pressure it brought.  She sat up, letting the sheets fall away to reveal her toned body, an image of strength and determination. “I enjoyed our time together… God knows it drives my mother insane… but it’s time to put the work in. You understand, right?”

“Aye, of course,” Drew replied with a touch of sullenness in his posh accent. He couldn’t deny that their relationship took a backseat to their professional pursuits.

“Good,” Victoria said, slipping out of bed. She moved with the grace of a woman born to be in the spotlight, every motion purposeful and precise. “And don’t forget, you need to push yourself too. Plus, Jenny’s no pushover, and neither are you,” Tori added, rising from the bed with the grace of an athlete in her prime. She offered Drew a hand, urging him to rise too. “You need to show them what you’re made of, huh?”

Drew watched as Victoria, her silhouette slicing through the soft morning light spilling into the room slipped on a t-shirt and shorts with a determination that matched her every move inside the ring. Her words from moments ago still echoed in his mind, mingling with the sounds of the city waking up outside their window.

“Speaking of my mother,” Tori said, breaking the silence as she stretched out, “I just found out she’s gone into full-on battle mode against Sunny O’Callahan.”

“Wait… your mum declared war on Sunny?” Drew asked, raising an eyebrow as he finally got out of bed, his own well-built frame a testament to his potential in the ring.

“Yep. And you know what that means for everyone involved.” Victoria put the lingerie she’d worn the night before into her overnight bag with a smirk. “Chaos is good for business, but it’s hell for relationships.”

“What’s that all about then?”

“Well,” Tori replied with a roll of her eyes, her voice hardening. “Part of it is me sleeping with you… most of it is the fact that Sunny ran over her with an SUV a couple of years ago.  My mother has a long memory and even though they seemed to be getting along somewhat… somewhat… Mom’s on a kick where she’s going to show everyone how it’s done.  It’s ridiculous, really.  Mom’s legend in MVW but… ever since she hooked back up with the Kentucky Redneck Mafia again she’s been looking for a fight.”

“Right,” Drew muttered, his mind already shifting gears to the challenges ahead.  “Sounds like a proper war brewing,” Drew ran a hand through his tousled hair.

“Exactly. And it’s the last thing we need.” Tori stood, her height imposing, the champion belt glinting in her grasp. ” My mom’s whole drama with Sunny? It’s only going to heat things up around here.   I’ve got to stay out of it. My title defense is what matters and Jill Berg has made it clear she won’t tolerate any outside distractions getting in the way.”

Drew’s heart sank a little at her words. He knew she was right—this was the big leagues, and distractions could be the difference between glory and the canvas. But he couldn’t help feeling sullen.

“Bloody hell, I understand,” Drew said, plastering a half-grin on his face as he watched her collect her kit. “Keep your eye on the prize, yeah?”

“Always.” Tori shot him a final look, one that was both apologetic and resolute. “You should too. Remember what Sunny taught you. You’ve got potential, Drew, don’t waste it.”

With that, Victoria McGill went into the bathroom to get freshened up and dressed before she would need to get on the road and head towards the airport.  She left behind a swirl of mixed emotions and lingering perfume. Drew lay back on the bed, staring at the ceiling. Her decision weighed on him, and the internal conflict raged within—a desire to be with her, yet an understanding of the commitment their careers demanded. It was a tug-of-war between heart and ambition, and for the moment, Tori chose ambition over ‘fun time.’

Maybe it was time to knock some of this stuff off Drew thought to himself.  The future was bright for him but uncertain.  One thing was clear… he’d come to America to prove himself and that’s what he needed to do… prove himself… not just to Sunny or Victoria, but to the roaring crowds craving a new icon to rise. A spark ignited within him, perhaps fueled by the challenge Tori had laid down on him… perhaps fueled by the fact that he realized he’d come to America not to shag every bird in sight but to wrestle.  It was time to show them what he was made of… time to throw down the gauntlet… step out of the shadows… and embrace the spotlight where titans clashed and legends were forged. With a deep breath, Drew rose from the bed, his resolve hardening like steel.

He needed to apologize to Sunny and get back to it.

Back to St. Louis and the Gym… Drew Gets to Work
The sun had yet to rise, casting a faint glow on the horizon as Drew Mitchell’s heavy boots struck the frigid pavement. His heart matched the steady rhythm of his steps, each thud pushing him closer to his goal. The cold air was a sharp contrast to the warmth he had left behind, but it served as a reminder that he was still alive, still breathing.

With a deep breath, he pushed open the doors to the gym.  Once inside, the sounds of weights clanking and wrestlers grappling filled the air, creating a symphony of effort and dedication. Drew strode past them, his eyes fixed on the ring—the place where dreams were made.

“Drew?” Sunny said, very much surprised at the early appearance of her protegee.

Drew slid under the ropes with grace and took in the familiar surroundings of the squared circle. The canvas beneath his feet whispered encouragement, urging him to begin. T he usual banter and charm that defined Drew were absent as he worked through each drill with precision and finesse. No longer looking for applause or attention, he channeled all of his energy into honing his raw talent into something formidable. With each dropkick and submission hold, he pushed himself harder, acknowledging only the fire within that drove him forward. Today was not about flashiness or showmanship—it was about getting back to work and proving himself once again.  He moved with purpose, rehearsing drills and maneuvers that had become second nature under Sunny’s watchful eye. There was no room for ego or frivolity; today, he came with a single-minded focus.

Even as other wrestlers came and went, Drew remained steadfast in his training. He absorbed every critique, nodding silently with a newfound humility. It was clear he was no longer the rowdy rookie that had first stepped through those doors; there was growth in his restraint, a maturity blooming within the crucible of discipline.

Drew stood in the center of the gym, sweat pouring down his face as he caught his breath. He’d just finished an intense set of squats, pushing himself harder than ever before. As he reached for his towel, he heard a familiar voice.

“Looking good, kid,” Sunny said, sauntering over with her signature Southern Comfort in hand.  Her surprise at his progress was evident.  “Seems like you might have some fight in you after all, kid.”

“Cheers, Sunny,” Drew replied, wiping the sweat from his forehead, his accent thickening with concentration. “Just trying to live up to the hype.”

“Good,” she said, nodding approvingly. “Keep that up, and maybe you’ll prove me wrong about thinking you’ve been distracted by all the… extracurricular activities.”

He couldn’t help but smile at that, knowing full well she meant his liaisons with Victoria. But Drew’s thoughts were now firmly in the ring, picturing his upcoming match and how he’d tackle each move.

“Believe me, I can tell.” She took a sip of her drink, eyeing him up and down. “You’re looking stronger, faster, sharper. It’s like you’re a whole new wrestler.”

Drew felt a surge of excitement at her words. He’d always known he had potential, but hearing it from Sunny made it feel real.

“Cheers, Sunny. That means a lot.”

“Of course, kid. But don’t get too cocky. You’ve got a match coming up, remember?”  Sunny smirked, taking another sip of her drink. “Well, first of all, unlike me, you might want to remember who you’re facing. You’re going up against Darin Zion. Clearly Zion hasn’t been the wrestler he was. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Use that passion to fuel you in the ring. And as for beating Darin…well, let’s just say he’s not exactly at his peak right now.”

Later that day…
Sunny’s voice pierced through the busy training grounds like a thunderclap, silencing even the rowdiest of trainers and wrestlers as she launched into a blistering tirade on Darin Zion.

“Listen up!” she bellowed, her words laced with venom as she addressed the gathering around the ring. Despite the bright sun beating down upon them and the clear skies overhead, there was an ominous energy in the air as all eyes turned to Sunny. Eyes filled with fear, respect, and maybe even a hint of admiration for her fiery spirit.

“Now I’m sure everyone here is familiar with our upcoming match between Drew Mitchell and that washed-up has-been, Darin Zion,” she continued, her tone drenched with sarcasm at the mere mention of Darin’s name. “But just in case anyone’s been living under a rock, let me remind you all that this week, Drew will have the honor of facing off against none other than THE Darin Zion.”

A hush fell over the group at the mere mention of Darin’s name. His reputation preceded him – once a reigning champion, now reduced to a mere shadow of his former glory.

“Drew,” Sunny turned towards him now, her piercing gaze locking onto his trembling form. “You’ve got quite the challenge ahead of you. Not only because Darin is a formidable opponent, but because deep down, Darin Zion still has plenty of fight left in him somewhere.”

Drew stood at attention, his heart racing with anticipation and maybe just a touch of fear. He knew all too well what it meant to go up against someone like Darin – someone who had nothing left to lose and everything to prove.

“But here’s what I find most interesting,” Sunny smirked, leaning in closer to the group, her voice low and dangerous. “I’ve been keeping my eye on Darin closely over the past few weeks…even the past couple of years. And, call me crazy, but I don’t think he knows what the hell he’s doing anymore.” Murmurs rippled through the crowd at this revelation. “Darin’s lost his edge and he’s become a mere shell of his former self.”

Drew felt a knot tightening in his stomach as he absorbed Sunny’s words. If she was right, then this match could go either way – a thought that both terrified and excited him. He would have to be at the top of his game to take down Darin, but if he succeeded…well, that would be a victory worth bragging about for years to come.

“Darin Zion is wandering around in a daze,” Sunny continued, her voice dripping with satisfaction. “He hopped on this Love Convoy and crashed out of PRIME. He’s clearly lost and unsure of where he’s going or what he wants which is how he ended up getting sucked into the Best Alliance.”

A sly smile tugged at the corner of Drew’s lips as he realized the implications of Sunny’s words. If Darin was truly lost and confused, then maybe…just maybe, he had a chance at defeating him after all.

Sunny’s eyes narrowed as she looked at Drew, her voice dripping with warning. “Drew, don’t let your guard down and don’t let up for a second. Darin may be struggling, but he is still a formidable opponent. You can’t underestimate him for a second. I have no idea what happened to Darin… where did he go wrong… and more importantly, can he find his way back.”

The gym fell silent as Sunny’s accent thickened with emotion, her soft California drawl giving way to the sharper tones of her Irish roots. Every word she spoke carried weight, each sentence laced with an intensity that captured everyone’s attention. Sunny paced back and forth on the concrete floor, the click of her boots echoing off the walls. Her gaze was fierce and unrelenting, her words hitting like punches with each step she took.

“I look at him now, and what do I see?” she asked rhetorically, her voice rising with frustration. “A man who has lost his way! He’s become his own worst enemy, tripping over his own feet and getting tangled up in his own thoughts. He used to strike fear into the hearts of his opponents just by walking into the ring. But now?” Sunny shook her head in disappointment.

“Now,” she continued, her hands moving animatedly as she emphasized each point, “he’s nothing but a shadow of his former self. A mere shell of the ICON champion, LSD champion, even MVW champion that he once was. The fact of the matter is Darin Zion,” she spat out his name like it was poison on her lips, “once a champion, a force to be reckoned with…now reduced to stumbling around the ring like a lost child in a supermarket. He’s become Lane Meyer in the movie Better Off Dead… a sight to behold… a man, beaten… a once-great champ, now, a study in moppishness… no longer a victory-hungry stallion but a pathetic, washed up, aged ex-champion.”

As if trying to physically grasp Darin’s lost potential from the air, Sunny’s hands clenched and released. “He’s lost the plot, plain and simple,” she concluded with a heavy sigh, the disappointment evident in her voice.

But then, with a fire in her eyes, Sunny straightened her posture and declared to all those listening, “But we can’t let his downfall affect us. We have to stay focused, keep pushing forward. Because in the end, it will be us standing tall in the ring while Darin continues to stumble around aimlessly.”

Sunny’s voice reverberated off the walls of the gym, her words laced with frustration and disappointment. She paced back and forth, her movements quick and agitated, as she lectured Drew about his upcoming match against Zion. Her fiery determination was evident in her eyes, which seemed to glow with a fierce intensity.

“Listen to me,” she demanded, grabbing Drew’s face in her hands and forcing him to look at her. “You are not going down that path. We will work harder than ever before, we will train relentlessly, and you will be ready for anything Zion throws at you.  Darin Zion might be a shell of his former self, but underestimate him at your own peril.  Zion’s dangerous.  Don’t let him be dangerous.”

Drew nodded solemnly, absorbing the gravity of her words. He knew all too well the dangers of becoming complacent. But he also knew that he had what it took to succeed.

“Understood, Sunny,” Drew replied firmly, determination blazing in his eyes. “Zion won’t know what hit him.”

Sunny finished her drink and set the glass down with an authoritative clink. “Good,” she said sternly. “Because if you don’t bring your A-game, Drew, you’ll find out real quick that there’s only one thing worse than being forgotten in this business…”

She paused for dramatic effect, allowing the tension to build and the anticipation to mount.

“…and that’s being remembered for all the wrong reasons.”

With a final glance, Sunny turned and marched away, her faded denim jeans hugging her toned legs as she left the gym. Drew watched her go, feeling a mixture of determination and trepidation. He knew that with Sunny’s guidance, he had a chance at making it big in the cutthroat world of professional wrestling.  Drew received the hard cold slap of reality he needed to have.  Now, he knew what he needed to do… that one wrong move could lead to disaster… and he was determined to avoid that fate at all costs.