06:00am: Huge breakfast, again. Today’s plan is to rest the legs and do some upper body work. Still 225lbs..
09:00am: Worked chest in various ways. These sets to fail are no joke. I did manage to bench 400lbs. Aiming for 420lbs by next week.
11:00am: Tweaked my shoulder on the rowing machine. Don’t think it’s anything serious but I definitely felt something. Will get Simon to look at it.
13:00am: Simon is a fucking Wizard!
17:00am: Spent most of the afternoon doing some bag work and sparring with Adam. Gonna call it for the day. Will be spending the rest of the night eating and doing my homework on Clay.
05:30: Legs are cramping up. Feels like every muscle in them has been ripped to shreds.
07:00: Simon gave me a deep tissue sports massage. It hurt like hell when he did the legs. It was pure agony. He’s preparing an ice bath for me. Yay.
08:00: My nuts are freezing. Going to go for a 5k run to get the blood flowing again.
09:30: The whole time I was running I found myself thinking less about the title defence and more about what Adam had told me about Regan. Why had she caused such a fuss over me taking him under his wing when she was the one who put him under my nose? Something definitely smelled fishy. Gonna spend the rest of the day on my arms and back.
“Alexa! Call Sonny Fletcher!”
“Calling…Sonny Fletcher. Unless you say cancel..”
“Fletcher Investigations, Sonny speaking..”
“Sonny! John Sektor…”
“Oh, hey John. Jesus, how long’s it been?”
“Must be a good few years?”
“Yeah. Last time you hired me was to look into the…Kael family? You were looking for a way to get your daughter back.”
“How’d that go?”
“…sorry to hear that.”
“It’s fine. Listen, I have some work for you.”
“Hang on, let me just grab my notepad….ok shoot!”
“I want you to look into someone called Regan Marsden. She’s a sports agent up in Missouri. I want you to find out anything you can about her for me.”
“She have a business name?”
“Nah she’s freelance.”
“Divorced. So she says. I really don’t know anything about her other than she has a great pair of legs.”
“You fucking her?”
“Hehehehe. Good ole’ John. Alright, I’ll see what I can dig up. I’m a bit snowed under at the moment so it might take me a while to get to it. Unless you want me to prioritise it?”
“No it’s fine, just let me know as soon as you can. Speak to you later.”
Training’s going well. Decided to stop with the play-by-play log of my training. Mainly because I’m lazy.
Adam’s competing at a House show Kansas tonight. Shame I can’t go with him, but it will be good for him to experience life alone on the road.
JD say’s I’m looking “Thicker.” I’ve been eating carbs and protein non-stop for almost a week, with very little cardio. I’m starting to feel the ‘gains.’
In other news, Adam got another win. He beat a guy called Bo Bevans at a house show. Dirt sheet says that spending time with me is beginning to show. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I learned some things about Clay. I’d been lazy last time we faced and hadn’t done my homework properly. Seems he blew his left knee out playing football. Rehab was a bitch for him too. You never fully recover from an injury like that.
Also, I can’t believe I never knew he was a southpaw! The mother fucker is left handed. No wonder I didn’t see that tree trunk sized forearm of him clotheslining my head off! I was expecting the Texas lariat to come from the right. With the obvious concussion I suffered I couldn’t remember even taking it, but now it makes sense. This is all good information.
Adam called me late last night to give me the news. He’d been beaten by a guy called ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson who is the number one contender for the Men’s title. It was no surprise to me, the guys a former 2 time champion. I told him it was a good learning experience and to focus on the positives and what he can learn from it. He has a bigger match tonight against ‘The lonesome loser’ Scott Stevens. His number one contenders status for the Heartland House show championship was on the line. It’s important that he dusts himself off.
Meanwhile I’ve been working on tactics for the LSD championship match. Realising Clay was a lefty had given me an idea. Boxers sometimes switch stance from orthodox to southpaw and vice versa to confuse their opponent and lull them into a false sense of security. I gotta admit, whenever I’ve wrestled a southpaw it hasn’t felt comfortable. Even a simple arm-elbow tie up seems foreign. Wrestling someone in the mirror reverse of the norm is believed to be difficult due to coping with the cognitive challenge. My brain is hardwired to think right. It’s time to change that.
I’ve been working on my southpaw stance. Clay will be used to wrestling right handers. He knows I’m right handed so that’s what he will expect. When I stand opposite him in a southpaw stance it’s going to confuse and unsettle him.
I’ll be making Adam do the same, though I’m hoping we can find a local wrestler who’s a natural southpaw, so I can get used to it.
Other tactics are less sophisticated and more barbaric. JD’s and I have been running drills in the ring where I dropkick targets. I’m going for precision. The plan is to shatter the left knee of Clay and drop him to knees. I’m one for sticking with the theme of the show, so I’ll gladly hop in the time machine and blow his left knee out again. He’s nothing without his legs, and even less when I cut him down to half his size. Once he’s on that canvas he’s in my territory.
The left shoulder is on the hit list too. I’m going to stretch, kick, twist and wrench it until it’s hanging out of the socket.
Let’s see him fire that lariat then..
Good news – I’m up to 230lbs. I ran the gauntlet this morning, which is the name JD has given to his gruelling circuit training. Can’t say I noticed any effects on my speed or agility. I feel a little thicker and stronger, but so far no signs of feeling sluggish.
Bad news – Adam lost to Stevens. Unfortunately for him that means he’s no longer number one contender for the Heartland championship. Part of me is proud that my current student was defeated by a man who I once took under my wing. The rest of me feels the sting because its fucking Stevens. No pun intended. Now Stevens has a shot tonight against Average Joe for the Heartland championship…another loser slumming it in the minor leagues like Zion.
I offered him the day off to spend some time with his girl and reflect. He wants to come in and run over a few things. That was the right answer.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
“Come in!” I said, from behind the solid oak desk in my office.
Adam entered with a sheepish look on his face. A full weekend on the road and back to back shows looked like it had taken its toll on my young protege. His hair wasn’t its usual blonde flowing locks, but instead matted curls with a scruffy five o’clock shadow on his cheeks. Dark blue circles had formed around his swollen eyes, which looked like two piss holes in the snow.
“You look like shit.”
“(sigh) Nice to see you too,” he replied, looking dejected as he slumped into the padded leather seat in front of my desk.
He forced a smile out of one corner of his mouth. He looked like how I imagined myself to look when the day finally comes that I lose the LSD championship. But it won’t be at Bottomline, and it won’t be against Clay Byrd.
“So what went wrong?” I asked, leaning back in my seat and making sure my body language was relaxed.
He let out another deflated sigh whilst thinking about his answer. “To be honest? I don’t really know. I listened to what you said and I didn’t let the loss to ‘Redneck’ bog me down. I was full of confidence heading to the ring, but then it all went to shit.”
“Yeah. I heard he absolutely schooled’ya,” I added, probably adding unnecessary salt to his visibly gaping wounds.
“Maybe if you’d been there,” he sighed.
“HEY!” I warned, pointing an accusing finger. “This aint your Pappa standing on the touchline shouting words of encouragement. This is the real world, amigo. You gotta figure this shit out on your own, I’m just here to guide you.”
He nodded as though he understood, but I could tell he was in full self loathing mode. I’ve seen that look in the mirror one too many times.
“You were overconfident. Like everyone else on this planet, you didn’t take Stevens seriously. But, unlike everyone else, you’re an inexperienced rookie. And you just got your ass handed to you by a vet.”
His head bowed forward. I felt for him. It’s hard taking L’s when you’re young and inexperienced. It’s no picnic when you’re at my level either.
“Look, don’t be so hard on yourself. There’s no shame in losing to Stevens. He might be the butt of all jokes in the HOW locker room, but he’s still an experienced and credible wrestler.”
He grimaced with anger, shaking his head and pounding his fist off my leather office chair.
“I should have beat him! I’ve blown my shot at the title and now I’m back at the bottom!”
He looked like he was ready to throw in the towel.
“Hey, what do we say about negativity?” I warned, giving him a steely glare.
The sheepish look in his eyes told me that he acknowledged the warning.
“Focus on the positives. When you reflect on this weekend you will see that there is so much valuable information you can extract from those losses. You won’t make the same mistakes again and you will get better. Just like Clay, you need to dust yourself off and get back in the saddle.”
He was listening, but he wasn’t ready to pick himself up. I believed in this kid. His positivity was what drew me to him in the first place. A few hours soaking up the academy atmosphere will soon get his engine roaring again.
“I mean, just look at Clay,” I continued. “He fails to beat Teddy for the LSD championship. So he picks himself up and tries again. Then, he fails again and is the first man eliminated from War Games. Picks himself up, goes for the HOFC and fails again. THEN, he gets a shot at the World title. Guess what?”
“Fails again,” I confirmed, smirking as I sank back into my seat. “You cannot question the man’s resolve. It must be a Texan thing, because Stevens didn’t know when to quit either, until Lee had to eventually fire him for his own good. Now, he has yet another opportunity at a championship. My championship. If he wasn’t in the BA he wouldn’t even be on the pay-per-view. His desperation to win will be at boiling point and hopefully I can make that work to my advantage. But the lesson to take away from this Adam, is even when you fail a hundred times to win your first championship?”
I leaned across the desk.
“Don’t give up!”
I’m starting to feel the weight now, but fuck me am I looking beefy! I’ve never been this buff in my life. It’s amazing what you can achieve in a couple of weeks. That’s dedication for you.
I definitely feel heavier. I’ve been working on movement to make sure I don’t lose any sharpness. We’ve been alternating cardio days also so that my stamina isn’t affected. Everything seems to be coming together.
I managed to bench 410lbs but I felt something in my left pec. It’s fine, but we’ve decided to take safer methods of strength training. No sense risking injury so close to the match.
3 days until showtime!
238lbs. I gained a pound overnight. Matt predicts that by Saturday I should be between 242-245lbs. This time all lean, Cuban, muscle, no fat.
I leave for Chicago tomorrow. Fucking contractual obligations mean that I have to do my duties and do some promotional shit. Take pictures, sign stuff, say a few words..the usual.
It’s going to be strange leaving the GSWA. I’ve practically lived and breathed inside these four walls for the best part of two weeks. I can’t wait to bring the LSD championship back with me.
I’ll make sure to take Regan for that drink I promised her..
Two full days of promotional shit is more draining than the grind I’ve put in at the Academy. Matt is still force feeding me carbs. I’m at 241lbs.
I’ve had to order a new pair of wrestling tights because my current pair don’t fit over my quads. Seems all that leg work has made me grow some girth.
Some cunt asked me for a photograph with me holding the title. He made the predictable joke of “Hey you wanna keep this picture man? Something to remember the title by when Clay kicks your ass?”
The vibe I’m getting from the Chicago faithful is a split opinion. Seem’s 50/50 for who they want to walk out of the Best Arena with the LSD title. Should make for an interesting atmosphere. I have to admit, although I’ve enjoyed being on the road these past few months? It’s nice to come home to Chicago. Out of all the crowds and arenas, including Tokyo? No one beats the Chicago wrestling fans. After being starved for months they’ll be blood thirsty for action and pumped up to the eyebrows. The atmosphere should be typically electric.
A great night for making history..
Show night. This is it. Everything we’ve been preparing for. All the eating, training and planning has all led to this. Clay has made a desperate attempt to get in my head but as he will soon find out, it’s an impenetrable fortress.
He’s bitter because he thinks I got in the way of his little feud with Teddy ‘Redding’ Palmer. That I inserted myself into a situation where I had no business being. Mother fucker, I’ll insert myself into anywhere I God-damn please, ask any woman who I’ve ever slept with.
But Clay is right about one thing. I was wrong about him. He clearly does have what it takes to cut the mustard in High Octane Wrestling. Unfortunately for Clay, he still hasn’t learned his place.
He thinks he’s next in line to be the right hand of God, but that isn’t his role. Lee chose him because of one simple and obvious reason.
He’s the muscle of the BA who he can actually book in wrestling matches. Otherwise he would have no use for him because he has Wahl.
What I’m about to do is expertly cut the big man down to size and out on a master class in technical wrestling. That is what I do. I have no ill feelings towards Clay. There is no beef between us, at least on my part. Any jealousy is flowing from his direction because I’ve achieved things he can only dream of. Because I am STILL achieving things that he cannot.
He’ll hurt me.
He’ll punish me.
He’ll leave his mark.
But I’ll still walk out with the LSD championship. Because that’s what I do. I win championships and dominate divisions.
He just makes up the numbers..
“Hey John, Sonny here. This a good time?”
“Not really. But go on..”
“You sure, I can call back when it’s more convenient..”
“It’s fine. I’m assuming you have some info on Regan?”
“That’s just it. I don’t!”
“I can’t find any information on a Regan Marsden that fits the profile of your girl. No marriage certificates. No school documents. Zilch.”
“What the fuck. She’s lying to me?”
“Or she’s recently changed her name…listen. I can follow her for a while. I mean it will cost you, but I might be able to sniff out who she really is.”