St Louis, MO
Evening of Champions
Sektor heads backstage with his VIP pass around his neck, not that he needed it. Everyone in MVW knew his face and who he was. In his hands was an ice pack, which he knew Adam would be needing. Adam Ellis had fought valiantly against Bill Dickinson inside of a steel cage and had taken him to the wire, but in the end it wasn’t enough. It was Bill who was leaving as the victor and Adam no doubt left backstage having to swallow a bitter pill.
Sektor had given himself a talking to as he made his way towards the locker room where Ellis had retired to. He told himself not to berate or be too hard on him, as he knew he would be punishing himself plenty enough. Sektor was proud of Adam. He hadn’t won, but he’d proved that he could more than hold his own against a bigger and more experienced wrestler and he had shown enough heart to reassure Sektor that his faith in him hadn’t been misplaced.
Of course, with Bill winning? Sektor knew that he would be heading to Iconic with confidence and momentum, which was always something to be wary of. Bill’s engine would be roaring hot.
Sektor pushed open the locker room door quietly and peaked inside. Adam was where he had expected him to be, sat on a bench with his face in his hands. Sektor crept in and shut the door behind him. Hearing the motion, Adam looked up from his hands with puffy red eye and it was clear he had been crying. Sektor bit his tongue, reminding himself of how he felt when his brother used to tease him for crying.
Adam stared at Sektor with a defeated expression. “I’m sorry. I let you down,” he sobbed, looking away.
Sektor rolled his eyes. “Shut uuup!” he growled, throwing the bag of ice which Adam caught. “Ice that neck of yours.”
Adam half smiled in appreciation, as his sore and aching arm reached over his shoulder to place the pack of ice on the nape of his neck.
“I thought I had him,” Adam gasped, dejected and demoralised.
“Yeah? Well thought, thought he shit himself, then thought he hadn’t until he found that he did.”
Adam raised a confused eyebrow, clearly not understanding the old saying.
With another roll of the eyes, Sektor let out a sigh.“Look kid, you were always facing an uphill battle. The fact that you were willing to lock yourself in a cage with that animal after what he did to you a few weeks back shows how much courage and heart you have. And you performed really fucking well. You should be proud,” Sektor lectures him.
“Well I’m not,” he snaps defiantly. “I’m disgusted with myself!”
Sektor smirks and nods, taking a stroll over to his young apprentice and sitting down next to him.
“You wouldn’t be human if you felt any differently. But I’m proud of you. This loss hurts, I know it does. And there’s gonna be plenty more moments like this ahead of you because you have got a long and painful career to navigate. But tomorrow? Tomorrow is a new day, and you’ll have to brush yourself down and get back to work. Reach for the next goal,” Sektor reassures him.
“Is that what you do?” he asks, looking to his mentor for inspiration.
Sektor opens his mouth to speak, but struggles to answer. “Not always. There’s been plenty of moments in my career when I’ve taken my ball and ran home because of a tough loss. Shit, I was probably the sorest loser going at one point. But you know what? I’ve made those mistakes so that I can sit here next to you, right now, and guide and support you through it.”
Adam nods, appreciating the honesty from his mentor.
“Did you manage to take any notes from watching the match?” asks Adam, referencing the fact that Sektor was also studying his opponent in preparation for his own match.
“Nothing I didn’t already know. He hits hard and is tough as old boots. This match isn’t a normal match between him and I. It’s more personal, and he will be a completely different animal to the Bill Dickinson you just faced. But I saw enough to know that if I stay disciplined then the win will follow. I just need to wait for him to make mistakes, and he will.”
Adam smiles, enjoying the possibility of his mentor doing what he couldn’t.
“Anyway, you got a big year ahead of you next year,” Sektor continues.
Adam’s expression changes to that of intrigue as he regards his mentor. “What do you mean?”
“Well, I don’t know if you heard, but there’s going to be a tag team tournament. And I don’t have a partner,” Sektor smirks.
Adam’s jaw practically drops but no smile emerges, as though what he thought was being suggested was too good to be true.
“Wait, are you saying..”
“There’s no one else I can trust, Adam,” Sektor explains, nodding at his apprentice. “And there’s no one else I’d rather have by my side.”
Adam gasps and plants his face in his hands. Without being able to restrain himself he lunges to his side and wraps his arms around his mentor.
Sektor grimaces and taps him on his arm before finally trying to peel him off.
“Alright, alright don’t fucking jizz your pants for Christs’ sake.”
“Are you sure?” Adam asks. “I don’t wanna let you down.”
“Then don’t,” Sektor laughs. “Besides, I don’t give a fuck if we win it or not. I think it’ll be good for your education to wrestle alongside me, and against real pro’s,” he continues, subconsciously taking a shot at the likes of Bill Dickinson.
Adam’s face has gone from sadness to shining with excitement. “This is gonna be lit!”
“Yeah, well make sure you get a good rest. You’re coming back to England with me in the morning,” Sektor informs him.
“Yeah. I want you there when I beat that fat prick. You’re just as much a part of this as I am. Hell, your at the fucking centre of it. Now you won’t be at ringside. I can’t have you distracting me and we both know Bill will utilise you being there any way he can. But you deserve to soak up the atmosphere and be a part of the celebrations.”
“Yeah, I understand,” he says with a smile, which quickly begins to fade.
Sektor notices the change in his expression and raises a concerned eyebrow.
“What is it?”
Adam seems caught in a day dream before quickly snapping out of it. “Huh? Oh, it’s nothing.”
“Adam..” Sektor warns.
“No, it’s-it’s just I was supposed to be spending Christmas with my girl, you know?”
Sektor’s back straightens as he lets out a deep sigh. He knew he was treading a fine line by trying to manipulate Adam into cutting relationships from his life. He also believed that in order to make it, you have to make those sacrifices, as he had.
“But it’s fine. This is more important,” Adam continues, with a genuine enough tone to convince his mentor that he wasn’t just telling him what he wanted to hear.
“Glad to hear it.”
Around the World millions of people are spending the day shoveling food in their mouths, swapping gifts, getting drunk, playing party games or even sat around a grand piano singing white fucking Christmas.
I was doing laps of Hyde park in London with Adam at six o’clock this morning, making sure I’ve got the stamina if Bill Dickinson takes me the distance.
Instead of sitting in front of a Christmas tree and opening presents? I was sitting in a hot tub to make sure my muscles weren’t too ripped from the training.
Instead of filling my belly full of food? I was eating plain turkey with a steaming pile of vegetables, followed up by protein shakes and healthy snacks.
Instead of drinking champagne, wine or port? I was drinking water. Good old fashioned, clean, water and gallons of it to make sure my muscles were nicely filled so that they’re not cramping up with lactic acid.
I know Adam’s mind was probably back home, wondering what his girlfriend was doing whilst I showed him what a life of tough sacrifice was like. But I’m happy as a pig in shit because there is nothing for me to celebrate. Christmas day is simply the eve of Iconic this year, which means my celebrations will be on hold until I get over the finish line and finish Bill Dickinson, raising my LSD championship over his body so that he can see what he could have had.
My body is ready. We’ve done the science. We decided early in the training camp that packing on pounds to try and fend off Dickinson’s power was likely an unwise move. There wouldn’t be enough time for me to get used to the extra weight and I need my speed and endurance.
I’m sure he’s been working hard himself. I don’t care what he says, I picture him punching frozen pigs hanging from a freezer and sawing huge fucking logs with his bare hands. It doesn’t matter, the fact is I know he will be in the best shape he can be in to face me, but it won’t be enough. He isn’t gonna be an athlete overnight like I am. He isn’t going to have the conditioning I have.
Forget his height and weight. I have the advantage.
Well that’s what we’re going to find out. I’ve already talked about the fact that he doesn’t need any more motivation than he already has. It’s up to ME to make sure that I’m switched on and focussed so that I can get over the finish line and get the job done.
All the work is done. For now, I lie down and try to sleep.
Tomorrow is Iconic.
The O2 arena, London
Blaire Moise: Well let’s talk about the LSD championship match now. This is such an intriguing match and one that kind of came out of nowhere. The Gold Standard, John Sektor, defending his LSDchampionship against ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson?
Brian Bare: Yeah, who saw this coming right? I mean it’s been well documented that these two have been having issues over at MVW, but little did we know that it would boil over here, in High Octane Wrestling, leading to Sektor issuing this challenge.
Blaire Moise: Well it’s a rivalry that I’ve been following quite closely because I’ve found it fascinating. Sektor compared it to the Rocky movie, and it definitely has that kind of vibe to it. If we look at the ‘Tale of the tape’ then on paper Sektor wins this match, right?
Brain Bare: Yeah of course. On paper, Sektor is one of the most decorated professional wrestlers of all time, at the highest level. Bill’s wrestled all over the world but not at the same level that Sektor has so really this should be an easy win for LSD champion. But I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as people think.
Blaire Moise: It’s interesting you should say that, Brian, because I’ve had the opportunity to talk to some of our fans and, I have to say, there are a-LOT of these UK fans rooting for Bill Dickinson.
Brian Bare: That doesn’t surprise me. The Brit’s love themselves an underdog, and a lot of these fans will look at a man like Bill Dickinson and see themselves. Here’s a guy who has busted his ass in the wrestling circuit for decades but never gotten his big break. Now he has this huge opportunity to cause a massive upset at the biggest wrestling event of the year?
Blaire Moise: Could you imagine?
Brian Bare: I know. Look, facts are facts. John Sektor should win this match. Bill’s a tough redneck and he will cause Sektor some problems with his style. But Sektor is the favourite. That’s why these fans are getting behind Bill, because Sektor winning would be boring. But Bill causing a huge shock victory over Sektor? Jeeze, I can see the roof lifting off the O2 arena tonight if that happens.
Blaire Moise: I’ve heard Sektor say many times that he prefers to go into matches as the underdog. I guess there’s less pressure? The possibility of being underestimated?
Brian Bare: Yeah but the problem for Sektor is, he’s been on such a hot run with the LSD title this year that he’s going to be the favourite heading into almost any match. The guy hasn’t lost a match since War Games and Bill is certainly not going to underestimate him. Bill has nothing to lose.
Blaire Moise: So who do you have winning this one? Sektor?
Brian Bare: That’s what my head says. But I’m with these fans. I wanna see an upset here tonight!
The TV screen which Sektor had been watching the Iconic preview on suddenly goes black as he tosses the remote control across the locker room.
“That’s enough of that shit,” he groans.
The Gold Standard is half naked, wearing only a pair of briefs as he lies on the physio table. His physio, Simon, is busy taping up his knees to give his battered joints some support during his match.
“Yeah don’t listen to that shit, coach. It’s like the woman said; the tale of the tape speaks for itself,” says Adam Ellis, who is sat on a bench across from where Sektor lays on the table.
“You think any of that matters once that bell rings?” Sektor replies in a monotone voice.
“Of course it does. Facts are facts!”
“Don’t be so unwise,” scoffs his mentor. “Every single accolade on that list of mine is in the past. It has no bearing on what happens here tonight. The only thing that matters?”
He lifts the LSD championship which had been led on his belly and holds it up in front of his protegee.
“Is this. THIS, is why I will win tonight. Because this is what I am fighting for and this represents everything that I have worked for. I’ll be damned if I let Bill get his greasy chicken fingers on my championship!”
Simon finishes taping his knees and slaps him lightly on the thigh.
“All done, try it out and let me know if anything needs adjusting.”
Sektor brings his knees up to his chest simultaneously, flexing and extending each leg at the joint to make sure that everything feels right. Once his tights are on and his boots are laced up, there won’t be time for any last minute adjustments.
“Feels good Si,” Sektor replies with an affirmative nod.
The physio gives him a thumbs up and then heads out of the locker room, leaving just Sektor and his student.
“Does it bother you?” Adam asks.
“That the fans are gonna be rooting for Bill?”
Sektor laughs as though the suggestion is preposterous. “Since when I have I given a fuck what the fans think? They’ve booed me out of the arena the best half of my career. I’ll crush all their hopes along with Bills. The thought of it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.”
“Yeah but I know what it’s like when the fans are behind you, man. It gives you that extra bit of energy to push and it’s like you’re being pumped full of..”
“The fuck are you doing?” Sektor snaps, jolting into a seated position on the physio table and glaring at his protegee. “I didn’t bring you here to fill my head with all this negative shit!”
Adam chokes, realising that he’s overstepped the mark and gone into territory he shouldn’t have.
“I wasn’t being negative, I’m just trying to understand how you deal with that kind of thing, that’s all..”
Sektor sigh’s and relaxes back on the table. He knows full well that it’s the pre-fight tension which caused him to snap at Adam like that.
“Look, kid. Bill may need every one of those fuckers to drag him through this match. But I’ve travelled a long and lonely road just fine by myself. The more they cheer for him? The more I’ll feed off that and shove it down their throats. I am a machine, kid. I don’t need emotions to win matches.”
Adam nods slowly, but seems to be troubled.
“Are the fans gonna boo me? You know, when we team together in the tournament?”
Sektor rolls his eyes.
“Depends. Depends where we are, who we are competing against. There’s always a pocket of fans that cheer for the Gold Standard, and the minority are usually the loudest. But it doesn’t matter. Anyway!” he barks, swinging his legs over the table and giving his student another stern look of warning. “This is still 2021! This is Iconic! Forget the fucking future for now because tonight is about me defending this fucking title and both of our fucking honours!”
“I’m sorry-I’m sorry,” Adam quickly retorts, realising that he’s gotten overexcited.
“No Adam I need you to fucking listen. This? This is the final hour. Soon, I’m going to be walking down to that ring and risking everything I have against a man who will be obsessed with ripping it all away from me. This is the time to shut the fuck up and focus! No more talking!”
With that, he hops off the table and pulls out a pair of Beats headphones, placing them over his ears and clicking a playlist on his phone as he begins to stretch and warm up.
Here we are Bill. Not long now.
Soon you will be making your long anticipated entrance walk to the ring, in an arena you probably never thought you would compete in. Infront of an attendance you never imagined you would ever see. I bet you’ve fantasized about how that will all feel. What it will be like to soak up such an atmosphere. Hearing your music through a quality sound system instead of the cheap second hand rig used in MVW?
I bet you got goose-bumps.
I’m happy for you in many ways. As much as I’ve talked shit about you? As much as I despise you for the way you’ve conducted yourself lately? I’m happy that I am able to give you this Christmas gift.
I love these occasions too. But unlike you, I’m not going to get swept away by the occasion. I’ve experienced this so many times that I can just block it all out and focus on the job in hand.
It’s just another day at the office.
But enjoy it, man. Enjoy your moment because you will never get a moment like this for the rest of your life. This is it for you. Take a mental picture. I’ll even step back and let you have some time to soak it all in and have some time to just appreciate what you’re experiencing.
I’m in no rush.
Take all the time you want. Do a lap of the fucking ring. High five some fans. Sign some titties, just go nuts buddy.
Because this will be the last time you will ever get a chance like this again. Because I am going to put you through a fucking gauntlet. You’re going to realise just why I am as good as they all say I am. You’ll become astutely aware of why everyone is saying this is a mis-match and why you shouldn’t even be in the building tonight.
We’ve talked about heart. We’ve talked about how when that bell rings that we are just two men and it boils down to whoever wants it the most. But the reason I have been so successful Bill is because I ALWAYS want it MORE!
I am going to win.
I am going to either pin you or make you tap out and when the bell rings for the second time your special moment will come to an end and soon Bill Dickinson will be nothing more than a whistle-stop tour on the journey of John Sektor.
The time for talking is over. What else is left to say? We’re going to fight anyway and let our bodies do the talking.
Just remember Bill. When you go back to the farm and sit down at your table, looking at old Martha as she holds your hand, wondering what could have been? Just remember..
…You’ll always have tonight.