Joe Bergman Character Development Piece
Nine o’clock at night.
Can of Pepsi staring him in the face on the table placed next to his Dell laptop computer, Joe Bergman hunches over and pounds out an email to a good friend of his who works as the talent coordinator at Appalachian Mountain Championship Wrestling- a smaller, similar profile wrestling company headquartered in Boone, North Carolina near the Great Smoky Mountains.
The reason for the email was because Joe had been working with one of their youngsters for the past couple weeks and needed to send back a status report on the kid’s two week stay. Joe reported back the AMCW rep to confirm the kid earned solid marks. He’d worked real hard and appeared to be picking up the basics real well.
With that task completed, Joe leaned back in his chair and stretched out. The weekend run with Xander Azula worked out well. Joe and Azula picked up wins on Friday against the Corporate Country favorites Georgia-Florida State Boundary and on Saturday against Missouri Valley Wrestling’s former tag team champions The Dark Overlords of Wrestling. Sore and a little stiff after Saturday night where all four Dark Overlords interjected themselves into the match and got disqualified for outside interference, Bergman was pleased with Xander’s progress overall.
Today, MVW Owner Ray McAvay stopped down and worked with Azula on a new offensive weapon, one that McAvay had used to great effect last year in the War Games match against Jace Parker Davidson…
2021 War Games Match
Back in Ring #1 we see Harrison and Jace looking over into the other ring shocked at what just happened.
Benny Newell: LOOK OUT!!!!!!
McAvay and Palmer are standing behind the two men and as Jace and Harrison turn they already know whats coming……Palmer nails Harrison with a right hand whips him into the far turnbuckle.
McAvay has a different idea however…….
Joe Hoffman: FIREBALL!!!!!! FIREBALL!!!!!!
Benny Newell: ILLEGAL….FUCKING ILLEGAL!!!!!
McAvay nails JPD with an old school MVW type of fireball to the face temporarily blinding Jace. McAvay covers as Palmer holds off Harrison in the far corner….
Bryan McAvay: JPD has been eliminated by Ray McAvay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That’s right. The good ol’ old fashioned, old school fireball. Azula’s eyes lit up and he seemed really eager to learn this particular dark art of the ring. Xander spent most of the morning working with McAvay perfecting the use of the fireball before working with Bergman in the afternoon on technical stuff.
Azula and his merry band of Eternal Circle minions had long since departed the barn and the only other person inside the building was Bert the Janitor. Bert pushed a broom up and down the floor while half-singing some song that played through his ear buds.
Bergman’s work done for the night, he shut down his laptop and tidied a few things up in his office. He turned the light off just as a pair of headlights turned into his driveway. Joe went to the window and peered through. He couldn’t quite make out what the vehicle was. It seemed a fancier vehicle so the first thing that came to his mind was- what the hell is Laura doing out here? We’re supposedly just waiting out the thirty days before the divorce comes final. Actually, Joe knew that Laura flew out from St. Louis to New York earlier in the day as well to train and get acquainted with her new employer and employees/co-workers.
He heard the door open and shut. Joe exited the office and headed towards the foyer.
“Hey. Sorry we’re closed,” he called out.
When he reached the foyer where the door was, Joe stopped.
The voice came from a brunette, mid-thirties, athletic, well-dressed. Her voice also seemed awfully familiar.
“Um… yeah?” Joe replied. “Can I help you?”
She reached into her carrying bag and pulled out a card. Then she reached out and handed it to him.
Joe read the card. “Elizabeth Carlisle- Channel 5 Chicago Reporter.” He immediately matched the voice to the woman standing in front of him. Joe was familiar with her work and had to dig deep into the neurons in his brain to remember a brief interview she’d done with him back in 2019.
“You’re a long way from home, Ms. Carlisle,” Joe said, casually turning the main lights off inside the barn. Just a small light at the foyer remained on. “What can I do for you?”
“I heard you’re the man to come to if you want to learn how to wrestle… or… learn how to wrestle the right way?”
Joe really didn’t have an answer for that. “Well… sure.”
“Look,” Elizabeth said, getting to the point, “with the number of wrestling companies who run the Chicago market, I thought it would be a good story to do.”
He just stared back at her.
“Um…,” Elizabeth fumbled her words before continuing, “…to illustrate just how hard it is to learn the business is and the skills you have to perfect before you become a legitimate pro wrestler.”
She finally spit it out. “I want you to teach me how to become a pro wrestler.”
“Oh.” Joe processed her proposal internally for several seconds. “Why me? Ten-X is in Chicago and-“
“Yeah yeah,” Elizabeth interrupted. “Let’s just say you are my only option.”
Joe nodded and listened.
“Your reputation for being a nice guy and all,” she continued. “You have a good track record in molding young students into good wrestlers… Adam Ellis… John O’Reilly… Victoria McGill… Corey Beckett. Working with Xander Azula. You are the perfect person for me to do this with.”
“I see.” Flattered and all that, Bergman scratched his chin and bought himself some time to think this over. It sucked that Rick Stevens stole his opportunity to participate in War Games by helping Christopher America defeat him. Yes, he’d avenged that little piece of treachery on Stevens part by taking him out in a backstage ambush. But still. It hurt not being able to be in the midst of the War Games along with the other three Highwaymen (Clay Byrd, Steve Solex, Steve Harrison). And once Xander headed off to the Ukraine, his schedule would lighten up considerably.
“If… IF… I do this,” Joe said, “we need to put all our cards on the table.”
“First off, yes. I have this reputation for being a nice guy… man of the people… and all that. BUT… when I am working in the ring with someone, I’m not Joe Bergman, nice guy. Xander Azula’s finding that out the hard way. I’m not Joe Bergman… man of the people. I’m here to teach and build you up from the ground floor up. I show you the skills you are going to need to survive in a dog-eat-dog industry. I don’t have time to waste on people who don’t take it seriously.”
“I see.” The Channel 5 reporter absorbed the copious amount of information Bergman presented to her.
“So if this is what you want to do, fine. I can work around your schedule.”
Again, Elizabeth nodded. “I think I can make that work,” she said.
The pair shook hands.
“All right then.” Joe watched as Elizabeth exited out the front door and then drove away into the Missouri night.
“You just never know who will walk through the door, huh?”
He flipped the light switch in the foyer to off.