The Ghosts of Christmas Past (ICONIC Expectations)

The Ghosts of Christmas Past (ICONIC Expectations)

Posted on December 23, 2023 at 5:33 am by Scott Stevens

Location: Crystal City, Missouri

The sound of tires squealing and the horn being laid onto awaken Scott Stevens from his slumber.

“STAY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE ROAD YOU IDIOT!”

The Uber driver yells at a Chevy truck that had veered into their lane. Scott checks his surroundings and realizes they are almost at their destination, but can’t help but smile as he sees his daughter pressed against the window as if she is one of those Garfield cats.

“Did you get any sleep?”

Stevens asks his daughter who just shakes her head no without saying a word or turning around causing Scott to chuckle.

“I can promise you’ll get plenty tonight.”

Scott says to his daughter as he turns his attention forward as the driver makes the exit.

“What can I expect?”

Emma asks without turning around causing her to fog up the window.

“You’ll see.”

Scott replies as he tilts his head to the side as he watches his daughter taking everything in. After fifteen minutes passing, the Uber driver comes upon a giant, iron gate, that reads, “Bergman’s Barn.” The driver’s side window rolls down and an arm extends presses a button on the intercom.

BUZZ!

After a few seconds, a voice booms through.

“Yes? How can we help you?”

The question lingers as the driver turns towards Scott.

“Tell them you have two guests from the Island of Misfit-Wrestlers.”

The statement causes Emma to turn around in confusion and the driver mouths “what the fuck” before echoing the statement into the intercom.

“I don’t think that’s correct.”

Emma begins to say to her father, but he holds up a hand.

“Be patient.”

Scott reassures his daughter as there is a loud buzz and the gate begins to slowly open.

“Told ya.”

Stevens says with a wink and Emma shrugs as she goes back to staring out the window as the driver begins to accelerate into the property. The drive down the gravel road takes another five to ten minutes before stopping outside of a gigantic red barn.

“This is it?”

Emma exclaims as she exits the vehicle and stands looking at the red barn. Scott follows behind and shuts the door.

“It’s called Bergman’s Barn, what did you think it was?”

Her father asks and she simply shrugs.

“I didn’t think it would be an actual…….barn.”

Emma emphasizes as she points to the structure and Scott shakes his head.

“Never judge a book by it’s cover. Now, go inside and I’ll get the bags.”

Scott tells his daughter who nods before heading towards the door. Emma has to use both hands to pull the sturdy wooden door open before she slips inside. Once inside, she sees that the place isn’t Ten-X, but it isn’t just a barn neither. The barn as that Midwestern feel mixed in with a training facility. Emma surveys the scene and she sees multiple individuals doing calisthenics in the rings in front of her. As she continues forward, she notices the “weight room.” It’s no Lifetime Fitness, but the equipment doesn’t have any rust on it either. She stops to look at some of the accolades of MVW wrestlers that has come through the Barn and beyond. As Emma looks at the pictures, a voice from the ring yells.

“YOU’RE LATE!”

Emma snaps to attention and towards the ring and sees one of the trainers in the distance looking at her and she points to herself.

“YES, YOU!”

The voice booms again as the people in the rings stop what they are doing and look towards Emma, who’s face has become red with embarrassment as she heads towards the rings. Once there, a very pair of familiar faces roll out of the ring to meet the young doe as she continues to stare into the headlights of greatness standing before her, wrestling legends, Joe Bergman and Dawn McGill.

“She thinks she’s special because she’s a third-generation superstar.”

Dawn sarcastically says as she ties her long blonde locks back.

“Superstar? We don’t even know if she can shine?”

Bergman replies as he looks Emma over before turning towards the trainees who have gathered around their coaches.

“Class, I’d like to introduce you all to the newest trainee to the Barn, Emma”

Bergman introduces Emma to the others in attendance and she simply waves.

“Emma, isn’t just your run of the mill trainee everyone, oh no.”

The former world champion shakes his head as he points towards her.

“She is a rare third generation legacy who is the daughter of…..”

Before Bergman can finish, he is interrupted by a familiar voice.

‘Me.”

The gruff tone of a Texas accent is heard causing everyone to turn and mouths drop open at the sight of Scott Stevens. Stevens sees the eyeballs staring at him and he surveys the room and locks eyes with Bergman. Stevens drops the bags he was carrying and heads towards Ordinary Joe and gets chest to chest with him. After a few moments of tension buildup, it is cut with a smirk and two hands hitting Bergman’s shoulders.

“How the hell are you?”

The question causes Joe to crack a smirk himself as he pounds Stevens lightly in the chest.

“Busy.”

Stevens nods as he looks around before motioning for his daughter to come stand by him.

“Emma, let me introduce you former HOW World champion, wrestling legend, and pain in my ass, Joe Bergman.”

Stevens hypes Joe up as his daughter extends her hand.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Bergman.”

Emma says as Bergman chuckles.

“Please, you can call me Joe. I’m just your average, ordinary, joe around here.”

Bergman informs Emma who nods and her father is ready to introduce her to the Pitbull in a Mini-skirt.

“This is former HOW LSD champion, wrestling legend, and the other pain in my ass, Dawn McGill.”

Scott introduces Dawn to his daughter who extends a hand.

“Nice to meet you, Dawn.”

Dawn gives a slight twitch before accepting the handshake and putting in some added pressure.

“It’s Ms. McGill or Coach McGill.”

Emma nods as she pulls back her hand before running on it. Dawn begins to circle her and looks her over.

“And if you are half as talented as your…..”

Dawn lets the statement linger as she looks towards Scott before continuing.

“Mother and live up to the hype my ex-husband was bragging about you, maybe you can end up like her.”

Dawn points towards a young woman who Dawn goes up to and places her hand on her shoulder.

“Allison Chambers, the current Bergman’s Barn Women’s champion.”

Emma goes up to Allison and shakes her hand.

“These two are just like you, aspiring to break through and into MVW and beyond.”

Dawn stops in front of two trainees.

“Savannah Smith and Kelly Lynn Smith, no relation.”

Emma introduces herself to the aspiring wrestlers and McGill stops in front of one of her most pride protegees.

“Felicia LaBarbara, future Heartland champion of the Women’s division.”

Emma introduces herself to the number one contender to the Heartland championship.

“All these women and men you see before you are here trying to become what you want to be or they are here trying to perfect their craft. I don’t care who you are, who you are related to…”

Dawn gives Stevens a look before continuing.

“What accolades you may have accomplished before you came here because as far as we are concerned, you haven’t done anything, and you will be treated the same as everyone else that has come through these doors.”

Dawn ends her speech as she stops in front of Emma.

“I understand.”

Emma replies and Dawn nods. McGill turns to head back towards the ring when Scott opens his mouth.

“Can I say a few words?”

Dawn turns back towards Stevens.

“Sure.”

She replies and Scott makes his way towards the ring and rolls inside. He pulls himself up and looks towards the trainees.

“How you guys doing?”

The Texan asks politely as the trainees look up towards the Hall of Famer.

“Who’s sore?”

A few of the trainees raise their hands.

“Yeah? Been hard so far?”

Scott asks as he looks about the room.

“Big man, the bumps been tough? You been hurt?”

The tallest guy of the crop nods.

“Big fucking deal!”

Growls the Texan as he doesn’t want to hear about minor aches and pains.

“Everyone, get in the ring.”

Scott orders the trainees and everyone rolls into the ring. Scott walks around and points at one of the wrestlers.

“Take a bump.”

A bald-headed man comes center ring and falls back with his arms wide. Stevens points to another and the long-haired man takes the bump a little faster than the first person. Scott points towards the big guy he verbally eviscerated earlier, and he comes forwards takes his time to squat before falling back on the mat slowly.

“What’s the difference between that and this?”

Stevens snaps down to the canvas with lightning quickness and pops back up.

“The intensity.”

One of the trainees hollers and Stevens shakes his head.

“That is correct, because what do we do from the time we walk down the ramp until we walk back up the ramp?”

Scott asks and one of the female trainees raises her hand.

“We entertain the masses.”

Stevens nods.

Correct, we entertain the masses by telling a story and we don’t do it with words, we do it with our bodies.”

Stevens instinctively brushes his right eye before asking the blonde who answered his question.

“What made you want to be a wrestler?”

The woman doesn’t take long to answer the question.

“I like to try new and exciting things and it’s something different, I like a challenge.”

The statement doesn’t seem to please Scott.

“You a fan?”

Scott asks and the woman shakes her head no.

“Not a big fan.”

“No?”

“No.”

Scott seems confused before smirking.

“You just saw it on High Octane Television one day and thought I want to get my ass kicked for a living, didn’t you?”

Scott sarcastically asks and the woman doesn’t respond and he points to the bald-headed man.

“How about you?”

The man with the Kodak smile can’t wait to answer.

“The whole business in general. The athleticism, the pain, the pageantry…….”

The man is cut off by Scott.

“The fame? The fortune? The glory? Trying to get laid? You figure that a lot of chicks follow a wrestler around, didn’t you? Figured you would slide in a couple of DMs?”

Scott asks with a chuckle.

“I got Mr. McMann on speed dial if you want to join the SEC, but the rats that follow them do carry diseases.”

Stevens stops center ring and looks at the trainees.

“Not going to bullshit you, we are on the road over two hundred plus days a year. Anyone have kids?”

Stevens asks and a couple of the trainees raise their hands.

“If you want this life than you have to accept the fact you aren’t there when they grow up. Anyone married or have a boyfriend or girlfriend?”

A few of the trainees raises their hands, some are repeats.

“Your significant other is sitting at home. What are they doing? You don’t know. You get home, you’ve been gone for weeks, sometimes months and you’re tired and beat up. However, you’re not done because you got to be Super-mom, and Super-dad and a loving partner to your significant other. This is not an easy life. Careers are fast and short. You choose this life; it doesn’t choose you.”

Scott bluntly puts it to the trainees before continuing.

“Who are your idols?”

Stevens lets the question linger a moment before continuing.

“Who do you look at and say that’s what I want to do? Not the that’s the money I want to make, not the that’s the TV show or movie I want to be in.”

Stevens shakes his head.

“Who do you look at and say that’s who got me into the wrestling business. That’s what I want to do?”

Stevens asks as he stops in front of the bald man before walking down the line.

“That’s the story I want to tell.”

Stevens stops in front of the girl who likes new challenges before walking down the line.

“You know, you can tell a lot about a person in this business from who they looked up to.”

Stevens stops and goes back to center ring.

“Somebody told me one of you has a Mike Best poster on their wall.”

Stevens shrugs.

“I can understand why you idolize him. He’s the heir apparent to one of the top wrestling promotions in the world. He’s arguably the greatest world champion of all time. He’s a hell of an athlete and he’s second to none when it comes to slaughtering people on the mic.”

Stevens pauses and raises a finger.

“If your biggest idol in this business is a guy that’s been nothing but a constant cancer to the wrestlers and the promotion, buries people to keep his spot intact, can’t let people surpass anything he does, hasn’t wrestled a full schedule in years because every three months he gets fucking bored with the competition or has an argument with daddy and has to take time off, and I wonder where does that mentally put that person?”

Scott asks before shrugging.

“Michael Lee Best has the greatest position of anyone in this industry and he abuses it.”

Stevens says with a condescending tone.

“What does that say about someone that has no heart for what we do?”

Stevens bluntly asks the trainees who remain quiet.

“No guts, no heart.”

Stevens says with a pound of his chest.

“You get injured, you keep going. You get hurt; you keep going. I’ve been concussed, I’ve had things shoved in orifices that don’t belong there. I’ve had my eye taken away.”

Scott pries the eye patch from his right eye to show the injury before placing it back on his head.

“Hell, I was temporarily paralyzed for ten minutes and put in a fucking wheelchair for six months when my back was shattered because of a botched powerbomb from Dan Ryan!”

Stevens shouts as he rips off his button up shirt and turns and we can see the huge scar on the Texan’s heavily tattooed body.

“I’m not bragging.”

Stevens shakes his head.

“I brag about I lot of things, but this I’m not. I’m not that tough. Shit, I’m no tougher than anyone else in this business. However, I respect this business. I love this business. I put my life on the line every day for this business and I gladly do it, and I’ll continue to do it until I can do it no longer!”

The fire and the passion in the Texan starts to show as he looks towards the bald man.

“Not for the fame. Not for the glory of it. Not so I can get laid. No other reason than the love of the business.”

Stevens states as he begins to walk the line of trainees.

“However, I question the fact that when somebody has a poster of a guy on their wall that can’t suck it up enough to continue when he’s on top of the business, when he’s on top of HIS company, and they ask him to go, and he says, “I’m sorry. I can’t because I’ve faced Darin Zion for the eighteenth million time. I have to sit home for three months because I’m too busy playing my Playstation 5 and swiping right on Grindr. I’m sorry, I can’t even make it to TV because I’m tired of the storyline with the Gamer Kid, I’d rather fuck my Phoenix Marie pocket pussy.”

Stevens shakes his head with disgust.

“I have to question that guy’s heart! I have to question that guy’s desire! I got to question whether he just thinks, Hell, I’m Mike Best, the Son of GOD. I don’t have to promote my matches. I don’t have to elevate titles I hold. As long as they put me over, it doesn’t matter, because I’ll still be a big star. I’ll still make a lot of money; I’ll be famous and you’ll be buried.”

The disgust is building in the Texan’s tone.

“You got to ask yourself inside where to draw the line.”

Stevens points to himself and taps his heart with his finger.

“When do you take time off?”

Stevens asks as he slowly eyes every trainee.

“Do you tape it up and keep going?”

Stevens stops and makes his way back down the line.

“Or do you call in and take three months off?!?!?!?”

Scott shouts as spit flies from his mouth.

“You have to earn respect in this business because it’s not given to you. You earn it just like I did.”

Stevens sees the looks expressed by the trainees.

“Hard to believe, isn’t it? I’m a second-generation legacy in this industry, but the American promoters didn’t give a rat’s ass about that, and for years I was blacklisted because of who my father was and how difficult he was to work with. I paid the price for his sins!”

Stevens slowly points his finger towards himself.

“I had to cut my teeth overseas in the dojos of the Orient and the flea market shows of Mexico before the American shows started rolling in. You pay your dues, and right now, you guys are miles ahead of where you are in paying dues.”

Scott stops and he starts pointing to each one of the trainees.

“In my opinion, ya’ll are at the genesis of something great. Don’t FUCK it up! Do not throw it away. If you do, you shit on every single person that has come before you and paid their dues. Every person that has busted their ass. Every person that has broken a bone. Every person that has shed their blood, sweat, and their tears in that ring. Every old timer that is crippled and can’t stand up, that can barely walk you shit on them. Every single person, like Joe Bergman, who went from a fucking laughing stock to a fucking world champion. Or like Dawn McGill, who broke the glass ceiling in an era that didn’t want woman in the industry and she proved she was not only better than the women, but the men as well. You shit on them and you shit on me!”

Scott points towards Dawn and Bergman before pointing towards himself.

“You either want this or you don’t.”

Stevens looks around at the trainees.

“If you don’t, don’t waste their fucking time.”

Stevens points once again to Bergman and McGill before starting to walk away before stopping next to his daughter and turning his head to the side to address her.

“Or mine.”

Scott informs his child before dropping down and exiting the ring and headed towards the barn doors.