July 15th, 2001
SALT-KREW Wrestling Academy
The sounds of grunts and shouting wrestlers mixed with the clanging of metal weights and thuds on the mat fill the small, yet well laid out, warehouse. The air is thick with the stench of body odor accented with a slight smell of disinfectant spray. Solex is standing in the center of the ring across the room, a rusted metal sign that reads SALT-KREW Wrestling Academy hangs from one screw on the cinderblock wall behind the ring. Solex struggles to get his bearings and before he knows it, he’s planted flat on his back in the center of the ring by way of a missile dropkick from a masked luchador.
“What hell was that?!” A voice booms out from the corner.
The voice belongs to a towering figure perched on a stool, his massive frame spilling out over the edges like an overflowing bowl of cheddar broccoli soup. His jowls shake with each word and a vein protrudes from his forehead as he face begins to turn a deep red.
“I’m not going to waste my fuckin’ time with this bullshit!” The man shouts out in a deep and thunderous voice.
The rage and frustration in his voice is palpable and sends a shiver down Solex’s spine. Solex jumps to his feet, as he tries to fight off the feeling of the man’s frustration bearing down on him.
“I got this!” Solex declares as he charges in toward his masked opponent, only to be sent right back down to the canvas from a spinning back elbow that catches him square in the nose.
Blood trickles down from Solex’s nose and down his upper lip. Solex rolls over and gets to all fours, leaving a smattering of blood on the mat as he crawls back up to his feet.
“Un-fuckin’-believable,” the man says under his breath as he shakes his head and hoists his massive body off of the stool he’s been torturing for the last hour.
The man towers over to the ring, limping on his right side as he continues to observe Solex in the ring, when suddenly…
The warehouse goes silent as Steve Solex stands in the center of the ring, his opponent lying motionless at his feet. All eyes in the gym are on Solex as wipes the blood from his nose with a snarl and looks over at the behemoth standing ringside, whose eyes are wide and his mouth hangs open in shock.
“What…what the hell was that?” The man asks, still trying to figure out what he just saw.
“That, Swifty, was the Solexecution,” Solex declares, pointing a finger at his still motionless opponent.
The man, Swifty, scratches his head curiously, clearly indicating that he has never seen that particular move before. Solex stares at Swifty with a smug smirk, not breaking the lock he has on the trainer’s eyes.
“You like that?” Solex asks, his tone bordering on mocking.
Swifty shakes the cobwebs out of his head and says, “I’m not gonna lie kid and I’ll give you credit where it’s due, that was pretty fuckin’ impressive.”
Solex’s smirk grows wider with each word of praise, his chest swelling with pride as he takes up his best impression of the Superman pose in the ring.
“You fuckin asshole!” A high pitched scream echoes out from across the gym; a female voice sharp enough to cut through steel.
Solex’s smug smirk and confidence fade immediately as he nearly breaks his neck turning to face the woman who had just shrieked. He could feel the heat in his cheeks rise as she stormed across the room to confront him. The fiery redhead stands a little over five and a half feet tall, but her toned and athletic frame indicate that she has all the attributes of a real badass. She’s an attractive woman with fierce green eyes that would pierce through the soul of any normal man. The woman storms across the room, climbs up the ring apron and locks her green eyes on Solex, causing him to take a step back in surprise.
“That’s my fuckin’ move, asshole!” She shouts at the top of her lungs as she leans over the top rope with a white knuckled grip that shows off her toned arms.
Swifty, taken aback, turns his head sideways and looks up at Solex, who is visibly nervous. Solex tries to play it off and backs himself into a corner of the ring and rests his arms on the top rope on either side of him.
“I mean…who steals a move? Like, seriously,” Solex trembles, stammering on every word.
The fiery redhead rolls her eyes and points at Solex before blurting out, “Are you kidding me?! You do!”
“What’s your name, sweetheart?” Swifty interrupts diverting everyone’s attention to him.
Solex takes a deep sigh of relief as the focus shifts from him to Swifty and the woman.
“Sweetheart?” She sarcastically asks as she Swifty up.
Swifty pulls a white handkerchief from his back pocket and flings it into the air, “I surrender! Force of habit, I’m sorry darlin’. I’m Swifty, you are?”
The fiery redhead relaxes her grip on the top rope and cocks her head to the side and says, “I’m Beth, and I’m not your darlin’.”
“So, that’s your move?” Swifty asks in a softer but purposeful tone.
“That’s right, and he,” she says pointing in Solex’s direction, “just stole it.”
Solex rolls his eyes in disbelief and holds a hand out in her direction as if to gesture come on.
“You disagree?” Swifty asks Solex, arching an eyebrow in his direction.
Solex scoffs, “Well, I mean. Ok. Look, I saw her use the move in a match last week and…well, it was effective. Let’s not get carried away, she should be thanking me! Look at all of this attention,” Solex explains, approaching the ring apron and getting within a few feet of Beth.
Beth spins around to look at Solex, her curly, wild mane of red hair whipping around her neck. With her fierce green eyes, she glares at Solex, shooting daggers at him. Solex gives her a cross look and shrugs.
“I don’t know what you expect me to say…Beth, but it’s true. When you did the move, nobody gave a shit. When you pinned that other chick, nobody gave a shit. It’s not my fault that nobody gives a flying fuck about women’s wrestling…I’m not the bad guy here!” Solex says in his defense.
A collective gasp is heard in the warehouse as all training has seemingly stopped dead in its tracks. Whispers amongst the trainees fill the room as Beth, with her eyes still locked on Solex, enters the ring through the middle rope. Solex laughs and backs up a couple of steps as he holds his hands out trying to persuade her to stay away.
“Take it easy, lady,” Solex says, trying to diffuse the situation, as he finds himself backed up into the corner completely.
“It’s the Fire of Phoenix,” she says, her eyes burning with rage and her finger pressed into Solex’s chest.
“What?” Solex asks, clearly confused.
“The move,” she says, jabbing her finger into his chest again. “It’s called the Fire of Phoenix. Not the Perplexecution or whatever the hell you called it!”
“You believe this?” Solex says sarcastically to Swifty, looking away from Beth.
Swifty chuckles at Solex’s nervousness and says, “Apparently, y’all have some shit to work out. Ding…ding.”
Swifty gives the hand motion of ringing a fake bell and Beth backs off into the center of the ring. She begins to warm up with a few shoulder rotations and stretches as Solex looks on in disbelief.
“I’m not wrestling some chick,” Solex says from behind a nervous smile, but his tone is filled with arrogance.
Beth charges in at Solex with a clothesline, but Solex ducks under and creates some space between the two.
“Take it easy, lady,” Solex says in a concerned tone.
Beth seethes with rage and charges in again, but once again Solex ducks underneath. This time, however, he slides under the bottom rope, retreats from the ring and marches right up to Swifty.
“Call this chick off, man! I don’t have time for this, I’m preparing for my first match!” Solex explains, but Swifty just smiles in his face.
“Then don’t use the move anymore,” Swifty says. “Oh, you better keep your eye on her,” Swifty adds as he points over Solex’s shoulder toward the ring.
Solex turns to face the ring…
Beth comes flying down from the ring with a picture-perfect crossbody block, landing on top of Solex and sending him crashing down to the ground. The other trainees in the warehouse go absolutely apeshit with cheers and applause for the impressive move.
Beth climbs to her feet and drags Solex up to his before rolling him into the ring. Beth slides in after Solex and stalks the rookie, patiently waiting for him to get to his feet.
“Let’s see it honey!” Swifty shouts, inadvertently causing Beth to be distracted.
“Shit,” Swifty says as he slaps his knee.
The warehouse goes silent once more as Solex stands over Beth, a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth.
“It’s the Solexecution.”
March 2nd, 2023
[Continued from part 1]
“Beth,” he whispers to himself, still keeping his back to her.
Beth crosses her arms as she stares daggers into Solex’s back.
“What the hell are you doing here?” She asks in a curious yet pissed off tone.
Solex never looks back and after taking a beat and continues his path off the gym floor. Solex can hear Beth’s footsteps approaching from behind and picks up the pace, but Beth is quick to catch up to him.
“Don’t you walk away from me, asshole!” She shouts as she grabs his arm and spins him around.
Solex rolls his eyes, stares at the ceiling – never looking at Beth – and says, “I knew you’d be here, I just wanted to talk. But I knew you’d be like this.”
Beth crosses her arms and stands in a defensive posture.
“Like what? Like this?!” She shouts as he slaps him across the face.
Solex never looks down, however, and just grits his teeth taking in all the pain.
“Exactly like that,” he says with his jaw clenched tight as a red handprint begins to form on his cheek.
“You stole my move, asshole! And it made you famous!” Beth yells, pressing her finger into Solex’s chest, just like she did twenty years earlier.
“I didn’t steal anything, you inspired a new version…that’s all. I got famous because I’m a winner, Beth, and up until a few years ago, I didn’t even use that fuckin’ move,” Solex explains with a firm tone.
“A winner?” She quips sarcastically with a laugh.
The remark finally causes Solex to look down at Beth.
“Yes, Beth. I’m a Hall of Famer, multiple time tag champion, the only LPW World Heavyweight Champion and soon to be LSD Champion. So, yes…I’m a fuckin’ winner,” Solex says as he pushes her finger away from his chest.
“PUHLEASE!” Beth says in her best Michelle Tanner impression.
Solex scoffs at the remark and turns his back on Beth, “I knew this was a mistake,” he says as he walks out of the front door of the gym. Beth clenches her fists as Solex lets the door shut behind him but is quickly on his tail and finds herself outside with the number one wrestler in the world. She circles around him and gets right back in his face.
“You can’t just walk away from me, Steve! You owe me more than that,” Beth says, her tone softening.
“Look, I know you think I stole your move, Beth. But if I did, I just made it better. I perfected it. And why do you care about the move anyway? You’re a former World Champion MMA fighter and now an elite trainer, you have no use for it,” Solex says.
Beth’s shoulders lower and her posture becomes more vulnerable.
“It’s not the move, Steve. It’s you. It’s me. It’s….us,” she says softly, her cheeks becoming flush red.
“What are you talking about, Beth?” He asks as a feeling of guilt washes over him.
Solex and Beth’s history runs much deeper than the Solexecution. After flattening Beth with the Solexection 20 years ago, the two spent weeks together training and dating. Solex and Beth were in love, but Solex joined the United States Army the day after September 11th, 2001 – like a real fuckin’ Patriot.
Beth grabs Solex by the hand and gently massages it with hers. She looks up at him and their eyes meet, “Why don’t you come back inside and we can talk?”
“Talk about what?” Solex asks, his tone soft yet defensive.
Beth drops his hand and places hers on her hips.
“It’s been twenty years, Steve. Twenty years since we last saw each other, since we last spoke. There were times that I thought you were dead, ya know?! And then you just show up here and act like this is all about some stupid fucking wrestling move?!” Beth rages as a tear rolls down her left cheek.
“Look,” she continues, “I just want to talk. Can we please just go inside? You owe me that much.”
Solex takes a beat and considers her offer.
“Come on,” she says, holding the door open for him.
Solex follows her back into the gym lobby. Beth points to the couch, offering a seat to Solex. After a moment of hesitation and a deep sigh, Solex takes a seat across from Beth. They sit in silence for a few moments, the tension between the two hangs thick in the air until finally Beth breaks the silence.
“So, what are you doing here?” She asks, looking at him intently.
Solex takes another deep sigh, as he tries to gather the courage to explain why he’s really there.
“Look, I’m sorry that you’re all caught up in your feelings at the moment, but I came here because I need your help,” he says, staring down at the ground.
“Help?” She asks.
“Yeah, help. Look, I know you invented the Solexecution and it’s one of the best moves in the history of professional wrestling. I’ve won countless matches with that move and I know that with your creativity and ring brilliance that you have crafted some of the finest move arsenals in professional wrestling and mixed martial arts,” Solex says, now looking her in the eyes.
“Ok…” She says, with a hint of skepticism, drawing out the word.
“So, I need your help. I have this match…Well, it’s not really a match, but we’ll call it that for now. Against Jace Parker Davidson for the LSD Championship and because this is such a unique match, I thought it would be good to spice up my arsenal,” Solex explains.
Beth leans back in her chair and crosses her arms across her chest, once again becoming defensive.
“So, that’s why you’re here?” Beth asks, narrowing her eyes at Solex.
Solex gets up from his seat on the couch and walks over to Beth. He stands in front of her and she stares up at him. He grabs her by the hand and pulls her to his feet. He wraps his arm around her waist and pulls her into him with a firm grip.
“We can figure out the rest later,” Solex whispers.
Beth smiles seductively as she leans into Solex.
“Sorry about the slap,” she says as she runs her finger across his cheek.
“Eh, I had that one comin’,” Solex laughs as the scene fades to black.
Jesus Christ, Jace…you really are the most dense piece of shit on the planet.
He has no confidence in you.
You can’t win a wrestling match, so we have to do this instead.
It’s MY belt.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH PRO WRESTLING?!
Get the fuck outta’ here!
This is the wrestling business and we’re bad guys.
This is exactly what bad guys do.
We stack the deck against assholes like you and get what we want.
We cheat to win.
We kick motherfuckers like you in the dick and still smile when we get the win.
We’ll do whatever it takes to rip that belt out of your pansy ass grip and then beat you over the head with it.
That’s the name of the game.
The fact that you’ve been a wrestler this long and still haven’t figured out the dynamic of PROFESSIONAL FUCKING WRESTLING is absolutely mind-blowing, but somehow…it’s not in the least bit surprising.
So, you can keep bitching and moaning like the impotent jerk, who owns a lingerie football team in the worst city in the fucking world, that you are or you can be a fucking man and own up to the fact that you are about to lose that LSD World Champpionship to the LAST Man in Wrestling…one that you apparently like to imagine jerking off in front of a mirror?
Fuckin’ weird bro.
I’ll bet you think about me while you lather yourself with cucumber melon body wash in the shower, don’t you? You androgynously metrosexual shitbrick.
You don’t have the testosterone of my left pinky toe and here you are trying to hurl insults at me about my beard?
The five specks of bullshit under your chin that resemble the back two inches of my taint aren’t doing your argument any favors, Jace.
I’ll bet STRONKETTE’s blood work spikes a higher level of T than you did in your prime.
Our match may as well be called the Solex Special, cause this shit is tailor made for me. The fact that you’ve already had your championship taken from you puts you at a disadvantage and EYE don’t even need to mention what else was taken from you to get my point across.
Every corner you go around, every door frame you walk through and every weird shape you see in the distance is of real danger to you, Jace.
You’re right, this isn’t a wrestling match.
This is a fucking war. And that’s what I’m good at.
I’ve put my life on the line for much less than the LSD Championship.
What does that mean?
That means I’m ready to die for this, Jace.
That’s what makes us different.
And as cliché as this may sound, that is what separates the men from the boys.