“So explain it to me again. The chick is a former gymnast?” The question came from the person sitting beside me to my right. The voice is both familiar and nostalgic all at the same time.
“Former Olympic level gymnast.” I replied before grabbing my shot glass off of the bar and downing the tequila inside of it in one gulp. “And she’s challenging me for the HOTv Championship this week in Milwaukee.”
The location was a bar here in Miami by the name of Gramps. The person beside me was my oldest friend from the business by the name of Devin Skylar. A former professional wrestler from the indies that took me under his wing long before I ever hit places like Peach State Wrestling or HOW. He had long since retired from the business and unlike me actually stayed retired.
“You mean like one of those tiny little girls that do flips and shake their ass on a gym mat for judges?” Devin flailed his arms in the air and gyrated in his seat a bit.
“Yeah she used to be one of those.” I raised my index finger in the air as the bartender made his way over and refilled my shot glass with more tequila. “But she’s ballooned up to about 150 pounds or so.”
“That’s pretty chunky for one of those flippy, spinny girls.” Devin mused as he grabbed a hold of his bottle of red stripe beer.
“For a gymnast maybe but not for a professional wrestler.” I steered his train of thought back in the proper direction.
“Where did all the extra weight go? Boobs or butt?” Or at least I thought I did.
The question lingered in the air, however the sound of a cover band playing 80’s music filled the silence. The white noise of people in the building was deaf in my ears as my mind’s focus was on the woman who would be shooting her shot at becoming the new HOTv Champion.
“Well?” Devin leaned over and nudged me with his elbow. “Don’t leave a brother hangin’!”
I turned my head with narrowed eyes to glare at Devin. “What kind of question is that?!” Devin shrugged his shoulders but after a moment he nudged me with his elbow again. I let out an exasperated sigh knowing he wouldn’t be satisfied until I gave him an answer. “…butt.”
“Niiiiiceeee.” Devin screeched before bringing his beer up to his lips. He lowered the bottle back down to the bar as I shook my head. “So let me see if I have the story straight…” Devin paused for a moment trying to connect the dots in his head.
“Stop when you smell smoke.” I quipped.
“Bastard.” Devin grunted as he ran his fingers through his long blonde hair. “Now after War Games you were booked against this Lindsay Troy chick…”
“Voldecunt.” I corrected him.
“Right.” Devin grinned. “Who ended up quitting because she couldn’t stand losing to you again. So in pops this Eli girl who decided she wanted to step up in her hometown of Pittsburgh to face you.”
“Thus the legend of the replacement pussy begins.” I added.
“Ha, replacement pussy. Nice one!” Devin raises his hand up for a high five. I don’t oblige. With a pout Devin continues. “Girl gets mouthy with you before the match and hits on your girlfriend so you boot her in the face.”
“Madison isn’t my girlfriend.” I interjected.
“Then what is she to you?” Devin asks, wiggling his eyebrows.
“She’s my manager and it’s more of a friends with benefits situation.” I down the second shot of tequila before requesting another.
“Commitment issues after the divorce.” Devin offered in the form of sage-like wisdom.
“Fuck off!” I hissed as the bartender refilled my shot glass.
Devin held his hands up in surrender. “Anyway… match happens then you beat her in the middle of the ring in front of her hometown crowd. However she ends up taking Madison out on a date and then sleeps with her.” Devin moves his head back and forth like he’s the human version of Glenn Quagmire.
“That’s how it went down.” I grunted.
“I can see why you’re angry.” Devin nodded his head as I grabbed my shot glass to take the third shot. “I’d be pissed too if they didn’t invite me to join.”
Devin’s cause me to end up choking on the tequila. “What the fuck is wrong with you?!” I croaked through coughs and gags.
“Okay sorry, didn’t know you were one of those guys that wanted the video. Joining in always was more fun for me.” Devin said dismissively as he sipped his beer.
“That has nothing to do with it!” I pounded my fist down on the bar while still coughing up a lung.
“Then what has your man panties in a bunch?” It was clear Devin was totally confused.
“My problem is that she’s only using Madison to get under my skin. I couldn’t care less about them fucking on their own time but the fact this bitch has the nerve to say I’m the one obsessed with her when she’s dipping her tongue, fingers, and God knows what else into my sloppy seconds. All while disrespecting me the way she has with her smart mouth.” I gripped the shot glass on the bar hard enough in my right to possibly shatter it. “I won’t stand for it.”
“So you walk into Milwaukee and kick her ass again just like you did in her HOW debut.” Devin stated as he dusted his hands off on each other like he just finished doing the deed himself.
“It’s not… it’s not as simple as that.” I mumbled under my breath while requesting a 4th shot.
“And why not?” Devin raised his eyebrow.
“Simply beating her in a wrestling match isn’t enough to shut her up.” The bartender pours the shot and I down it quickly. “I’m going to have to end her career or break her jaw at the very least.”
“That sounds pretty dark for a simple title defense.” Devin observed.
“She’s stubborn, Devin.” I stared down into the empty shot glass. “She’d rather die in the middle of the ring than take back all those words that her ass can’t cash. I’ve booted her in the face, I’ve attacked her in her dressing room, I beat her in front of her friends and family but she just won’t go away. Not unless I do something to make her go away but if I do…”
“If you do you’re afraid you’ll lose Madison forever.” Devin interrupted.
I snarled my upper lip in disgust at the simple thought. “I basically have two options. Option one is to end Eli’s career and lose Madison. Option two is just let Eli win the HOTv Championship.”
“Wait a minute. You’re actually considering letting this chick beat you?” Devin’s mind was blown.
“No! I mean…maybe. Fuck, I’ve just got a lot on my mind!” I closed my eyes and shook my head. “I like being the greatest HOTv Champion that ever lived. I promise to make this the most desired title in HOW and I’m doing just that. However, now I’ve moved up in the ranking to being tied for second place. I missed the first part of the year and I’m already in contention for Wrestler of the Year. I’m high enough to be in contention for the LSD title or even the World title. As soon as Rumble at the Rock I could be in the main event wrestling for a fourth reign with 97red. I just don’t know if I’m ready to be THAT JPD again.”
“You know if you drop the belt to this Dresden chick the disrespect isn’t going to go away.” Devin took another sip of his beer.
“But then at least she’ll go away. She’ll have her own title and I’ll move onto titles she’s not even in contention for.” I revealed.
“This isn’t like you.” Devin spat. “The old JPD would keep the HOTv title, keep his girl, beat that Eli girl within an inch of her life then go on and win the other titles too.”
“Easy for the retired guy to say.” I chuckled sarcastically.
“Yeah but do you realize you’re not retired anymore?” Devin reached up and smacked me on the back of the head. “I get it. That neck injury cost you a lot but your back now. Stop being so goddamn gun shy and passive. Stop worrying about what could go wrong and just go out there and fucking do it before it’s too late.”
I turned to look at Devin who was ready to smack me again if I didn’t get out of this funk. My nostril flared as I stood up from my seat.
“It is ending Eli Dresden’s career then.” I said with a smirk.
I patted Devin on the back and then exited the bar. Devin grinned for a moment before realization hit him.
“Bastard left me to pay the bill.”
“I don’t usually approve of helping someone train to injure or end the career of another individual. However, you’re doing good. She’s going to be faster than you just like last time but once you hit her, hit her hard and keep her grounded.” Carmen advised as she leaned against the ring ropes for a breather.
“I have to be better than last time. She’ll have learned from her mistakes and will come at this from a different angle.” I grabbed a hold of a water bottle and squirted some into my mouth. “This is about more than just pinning her shoulders down to the mat for three seconds.”
“This is about shutting her up once and for all.” Carmen rolled her eyes.
“Would you tolerate that level of disrespect if you were in my shoes?” I leaned against the top rope and waited for a response.
“Oh I’d absolutely murder the mouthy little cunt but that’s just me.” Carmen shrugged her shoulders. “You know you do have the option of ignoring the little bitch the way she pretends to do to you.”
“Well I’m not a 7th grader anymore.” I rotated my left arm trying to get a kink out of my shoulder. “And hurting her really, really badly sounds like more fun.”
“Whatever you say, Sugartits.” Carmen sighed as I narrowed my eyes.
Now that the breather was over Carmen and I went back to training inside of the ring here in the Warrior’s Pride Academy here in Miami. The owner recognized me from television and told us we could use the ring for as long as we needed. The others inside of the building went on about their workouts but you could tell that all eyes were on us.
“Come on! Don’t let my speed throw you off of your game!” Carmen commanded.
Just as I was starting to focus the doors to the building swung open and Madison walked inside dressed in her own training gear. Madison stormed right past everyone else in the building before marching right up to the apron of the ring.
“Enough!” Madison yelled at the top of her lungs which brought Carmen and I to a stop.
“Uh okay, two questions.” I extended my index and middle finger on my right hand as I looked down at Madison. “First, what are you doing here? Second, you’re actually speaking to me again?”
“I’m still mad at you but I’m here to train with you.” Madison responded.
“Oh wow, you’re here to train with me? So you can go run to Eli and tell her all about how I’m preparing in grave detail? Yeah, no thanks I got it covered.” I said in a tone that let her know I wasn’t interested at all.
Madison placed her hands on her hips. “I can see with my own two eyes that you’ve got Carmen there to help you but I’m not going to take no for an answer.” Madison raised her index finger into the air and pointed towards her chest. “If anyone is going to help you train for this title defense against Eli, it’s going to be me.”
“Do you have any idea what I’m planning to do to your little buddy?” I asked as I leaned over the top rope. “I’m not just going to beat her, I’m going to hurt her. Badly, maybe even end her career.”
“I’m not stupid, Jace. I know very well what your intentions are.” Madison snapped. “That’s not going to stop me. You’ve been yelling at me saying make a choice or you’re going to make it for me. Well congratulations, you’ve done just that by trying to take Eli out two weeks ago. I’ve tried to play peacemaker between you two for too long now, so I have a choice for you to make. Let me help you train or fight me for real.”
“You want to fight me, Madison? You want to get revenge for what I did to Eli? Be my guest.” I extended my arms and stepped back into the center of the ring.
Madison clenched her fists for a moment then slid under the bottom rope to enter the ring. Madison got up to her feet as Carmen exited the ring and watched from the outside. Madison and I circled each other in the center of the ring a bit before I went to grab a hold of her. However, Madison was quick on her feet and avoided me. A second attempt resulted in another dodge. Attempt number three resulted in yet another clever dodge by Madison. I yanked on the top rope in frustration as I turned to look at Madison.
“How do you expect to fight me if you just run around the ring avoiding me?!” I barked.
“I’m smaller than you so I’m doing what I can to stay away from you. I mean if you can’t catch me how do you expect to keep up with Eli on Saturday night?” Madison had a smug tone to her voice.
I decided to pick up the pace by bouncing off the ropes and coming to Madison at full speed. Madison saw it coming and hit a low dropkick to the leg that brought me down to my knees. Madison hopped to her feet then hit the ropes before hitting me with a low dropkick to the face that put me on the canvas.
“Looks like training hasn’t been wasted on this one.” Carmen shouted from the outside.
Madison bounced on the mat around me as I began to pull myself up to my feet. Madison began hitting me with repeated forearm shots to the face as I regained a vertical base. Madison grabbed a hold of my arm and tried to whip me into the ropes but I easily reversed it. Madison rebounded off the ropes then leapt into air and hit me with a tilt to whirl head scissors takedown that sent me back down to the canvas.
“She’s faster than you just like Eli will be Saturday night. Get her on the mat and keep her there!” Carmen clapped her hands together.
I grabbed a hold of the turnbuckles in the corner to pull myself up to my feet as Madison stood in the opposite corner. Madison got a running start then hit me with a handspring elbow in the corner.
“…this offense looks familiar.” Carmen murmured under her breath.
Madison goes to whip me into the ropes but once again I reverse it. Madison rebounds off the ropes and hits me with a sling blade that takes me down to the canvas.
“That’s The OMFN! She’s trying to beat you using Eli Dresden’s offense!” Carmen slammed her hands on the apron repeatedly.
My eyes widened as Carmen’s words hit me. I could feel my blood start to boil. Was this some kind of sick joke? Was she trying to rub it in my face? Madison got up to her feet then raced towards the corner. She leapt to the top rope and went for an Arabian press but I got my knees up at the last second causing her to crash and burn down to the canvas. I pulled myself up to my feet absolutely seething as Madison held her midsection in pain.
“You want to be Eli Dresden?” I growled. “Well then I’ll treat you like Eli Dresden!”
Madison pulled herself up to her knees as I hit the ropes. I rebounded off and drove a V trigger knee strike right to the back of her skull. Madison crumpled down to the mat in a helpless heap but I wasn’t done. I grabbed a hold of Madison by her purple hair and dragged up to her feet. I hooked both of her arm then drove her down to the canvas with Unscripted Violence.
“I think she’s had enough, Jace!” Carmen’s words fell on deaf ears.
I backed my way up to the corner and waited for Madison to begin to stir. As she tried to pull herself off of the mat a sadistic grin formed across my features.
“Whose side are you on?” I screamed to no response.
I got a running start then hit Madison with Bend the Knee. My boot slammed her face down to the canvas hard but that wasn’t enough. I kicked Madison onto her back then took a mount position.
“Whose side are you on?” I asked again but Madison was barely conscious.
I unleashed a flurry of right hands repeatedly to the face of Madison as the whole building fell silent in horror. Madison was a bloody mess but I just kept pounding down on her.
“Whose fucking side are you on?” I screamed to the heavens.
“….yours.” Was the quiet almost whisper of a response from a brutalized Madison.
Before I could land another blow Carmen slid into the ring along with others from the Academy to pull me off of a helpless Madison. Medical attention was called in as I exited the ring just staring down at Madison blood dripping from fist.
“This ends Saturday night.” Were the final words that escaped my lips as I was escorted out of the building.
Fast forward to Friday night in Milwaukee inside the Fiserv Forum. More specifically inside of what will be the trainer’s room tomorrow night inside the Fiserv Forum. The camera pans around the room to find current HOW HOTv Champion Jace Parker Davidson standing inside. Jace is wearing a Doctor’s coat and a surgical mask around his nose and mouth. He has white gloves on his hands as he turns to face the camera.
“I’ve been expecting you, Miss Elizabeth Dresden. I can call you Elizabeth, right? Please by all means have a seat and we can begin.”
Jace extends his arm towards the examination table in the room.
“I can imagine there will be some nerves on your part. I’ve been told you’re not fond of Doctors or examinations. Perhaps you or maybe some of your friends had some bad experiences in the past when you were younger?”
Jace takes off the surgical mask to reveal an evil smirk across his features.
“See the thing is Elizabeth, you little replacement pussy. If this was the first go around between the two of us I would be all about playing the role of Doctor with you. I mean it was me that said I was going to violate you in front of your friends and family in Pittsburgh. However, this is different because we’ve gone back and forth around the bend. And your mouth and the blatant disrespect has put you in a position of danger.”
Jace slowly begins to take off the white gloves.
“At first it was all fun and games because honestly you were just another pussy to play with. The happy go lucky little former gymnast that had no idea what she was getting herself into. We had our match and I beat you just like I said I would and that should have been the end of it. I guess you just didn’t get the hint so now I don’t play Doctor with you I play Surgeon. You think your smart mouth and the way you throw sexual harassment back at males the they do females is cute. The fact is that it’s puerile and revolting.”
Jace takes the gloves and tosses them down onto the examination table.
“I get it though, someone like you had to scratch and claw her way to get here. From Dr. Larry Nassar’s wet dream all the way to contender for the HOW HOTv Championship. But that’s where it ends for Elizabeth because I’m not going to allow HOW’s network to be represented by someone who starred in underaged videos found on Dr. Nassar’s computer. You probably see this as the opportunity of a lifetime. A win against me, revenge, and a shiny Championship belt all in one match. When in reality you’ve been signed up for your very demise.”
Jace’s top lip curls in disgust as he grits his teeth together.
“See you’re going to smart mouth your way into another beating like you always do. And don’t give me that ‘Ooh I might be injured’ bullshit you sent to Bare. I don’t buy it for a fucking second. Just more mind games, same games you played with Madison but congratulations it got you your shot. Now you have to deal with the consequences of that Elizabeth. You and me? We’re like oil and water. We don’t mix, we can’t coexist under the same company. That’s why I’m going to have to surgically remove the cancerous little tumor that you are from HOW.”
Jace opens a drawer on the cabinet in the room and pulls out a scalpel.
“I’m not here to slide my fingers into your preteen vagina like Dr. Nassar. I’m here to punish you, to beat you down until your HOW career is over. You think your health is questionable just wait until tomorrow night Elizabeth. I hope you’re not planning to go onto Bottomline in Chicago to face Darin Zion. However before you start thinking I’m underestimating you let me put your mind at ease. I know you’re not the same woman I faced in Pittsburgh. You’ve gotten better, you’ve gotten some wins under your belt. Although those wins are against Mitch Quinlan and Xander Azula. Regardless you’ve started to find your way but this is the end.”
Jace takes the scalpel and begins to cut along his index finger until he draws blood.
“I hope you wrestle the match of your life because you’re going to need to if you expect to last ten minutes against me. I want you to wrestle like you’re back in front of your hometown crowd. But I question if you can handle the pressure in a match against yours truly. Someone who has already beaten you, here in the main event here in the Fiserv Forum before we switch over to 2300 arena in Philly. With a title belt on the line. I mean you’re a former Olympic level gymnast but not quite an Olympian. Just like you’re good but not quite a Champion. I hope you don’t get the twisties out there or better known as the yips. All it’s going to take is one slip up. One mistake and it’s all over and your blood will be on my hands.”
Jace lets the blood roll down his finger a bit before he clenches his fist.
“In a snap it’s going to be all over. Whether it be your knee, your neck, or another limp matters not to me. One way or another your career ends tomorrow night and I’m taking home a piece of you to hang above my mantle. A little memento to show the world what happens when someone shows me the amount of disrespect you have in your short HOW career. You can call me out saying I need to blindside you to take down ‘little ol’ you’ all you want. This is HOW, we don’t play fair little Elizabeth. Blindsiding you, attacking you before the match? I wear that shit like a badge of honor.
I’m going to paint the canvas with your blood.
I’m going to break your bones.
Then the legacy of the replacement pussy will be buried.
I’m going to enjoy making your Bend the Knee before they tag what’s left of you.
Elizabeth Dresden D.O.A. 08/14/2021.”