My name is Adam Ellis.
Four years ago, I was eighteen years old and fresh out of high school. Most of the people I went to high school with took flight and scattered into the four winds all over the country. Some of them went on to college. A lot of them went to work. Some just wanted to get out of town.
And me? I went to school. My post high-school education took place at the gym at Missouri Valley Wrestling headquarters and Joe Bergman’s Barn. It continued at John Sektor’s Gold Standard Wrestling Academy.
And now? Signing my first big company contract with PRIME? This is my graduate school.
My Dad loved pro wrestling and got me hooked on companies like the FWO, sVo, and the ACW. You have no idea how much of a thrill it was to meet Lindsay Troy in person when I signed the deal when I remembered watching her, Dan Ryan, Valora Salinas, Alias, and High Flyer wrestling while I was growing up. I got hooked on pro wrestling so I went out for the high school wrestling team. Was I a natural? Hell, no. I had to take my lumps. I had to get my ass kicked a few times before I started to get the picture.
By the time my senior year rolled around, Adam Ellis actually became a pretty good wrestler. I did well in our end of the season conference tournament and actually made a nice run at the state tournament before my high school wrestling career came to a close.
I’d reached a crossroads. Eighteen years old. Most of my friends leaving town for college, work, et al. What was I going to do? I found out about a Missouri Valley Wrestling tryout in St. Louis two weeks after graduation. Our wrestling coach, Coach Linfield, always told us to take our chances whenever we got the opportunity so figuring the cost investment for me would be time and some gas money, I drove to St. Louis to take my chance because the tryout was an opportunity. I met Ray McAvay there. Joe Bergman too. As Halitosis, he had just won the HOW World Title and Joe just happened to be in St. Louis getting ready for his first title defense. Ray and Joe worked me out for a couple hours and liked what they saw. A developmental deal came my way. I signed it and moved to St. Louis.
And now, here I was, the night after my first appearance with Ginny on ReVival 14. I just turned twenty-two years old this month and now here I am- living out my dream. This is what I wanted. This is what I worked for. And now, I was going to have to work even harder now to make sure I stayed here.
After ReVival 14, Ginny and I took a red eye flight back to Kansas City and then drove to my parent’s house early in the morning.
Because I needed do something I probably should have done sooner- introduce Ginny to my parents for the very first time. We’d survived breaking the news to Ginny’s father and surprisingly it went a lot smoother than we imagined it would.
But my parents? Suffice to say, when I broke the news to them that their only son had just married the red haired young lady I’d brought home with me… let’s just say my shocked parents fired off a rapid series of questions for the next fifteen-twenty minutes and let’s be clear- it did lead to a few… awkward… moments.
It took about half hour for me to explain just how I ended up getting married to someone they knew nothing about.
Thankfully, my parents were impressed by the fact that Ginny grew up in a devoutly religious family settling and we survived the initial barrage of questions. We noticed a definite thaw in the apprehension exhibited at the outset when they perceived what we did as a rash, impulsive, and rushed act to get married so quick- which to be fair, it probably was.
The good news- my parents welcomed her into the family. Hurdle jumped. Another check mark in the list of life things we needed to do.
Mom and Dad even sprung for a celebratory lunch and afterwards we took a mid-afternoon nap. Around six o’clock, we left the house to meet my high school friends who were in town for the weekend at Heroes Restaurant- another reason I wanted to come home.
Heroes Restaurant & Pub – Warrensburg, Missouri- Saturday August 27th
“So this here is it huh?” Ginny said, glancing up at the light blue colored light that spelled out “HEROES” on the brick building. She wore a simple purple blouse and jeans ensemble and a new pair of tennis shoes.
“Yep,” Adam replied. This would be the third time Adam returned to Heroes since his wrestling career kicked off. ‘”See that over there?” Wearing a older Warrensburg H.S. t-shirt with jeans and tennis shoes, Adam pointed out to Ginny the University of Central Missouri’s logo on the window to the left of the glass door- “UCM MULE NATION” complete with the head of a mule peeking over the top lettering.
“UCM Mule Nation?” Ginny asked, amused by the nickname.
“Yeah.” Then Adam pointed to the block ‘W’ on the right side of the door with “WARRENSBURG TIGERS PRIDE” written in cursive over it.
“Ahh see,” Ginny said. “That’cha schoolin?”
Adam nodded yes and the newlyweds headed inside the restaurant. The first thing they saw was a row of wooden tables along the window- all full with restaurant goers. The waitresses raced from table to table trying to keep up as most of the tables were filled with customers.
Adam grinned and turned. Three men, the same age as him, motioned to him to come join them. Several baskets of wings slathered on top the checkered paper inside the baskets covered the table.
“And there’s Mr. Big Shot Pro Wrestler,” one of them cried out.
The couple approached the table.
“All right boys,” Adam said, putting his arm around Ginny. “This is my wife, Ginny.”
Ginny responded with a shy wave. “Hey y’all.”
Charlie and A.J.’s jaws dropped.
‘Ginny,” Adam said and then pointed to each one of his friends. “This is Charlie Kennedy… A.J. Phelps… and I believe you may already know Mike McWilliams. These are my best friends in Warrensburg. Teammates on our high school wrestling team.”
Charlie stayed in town after high school and ended up going to work at a local electronic shop on the east side of town.
A.J. Phelps was a senior at Missouri-Kansas City pursuing a business degree and mulled potential options including going to graduate school.
Mike McWilliams attended a local two-year school and at first worked various jobs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But after seeing Adam’s success in the wrestling arena and receiving encouragement from Adam himself, Mike got himself back into shape and showed up at a Missouri Valley Wrestling tryout. He impressed Joe Bergman and Ray McAvay enough to earn a development deal and for the past several weeks McWilliams worked out part time at Joe Bergman’s Barn.
“Ginny. Congratulations!” Mike said. He raised his beer mug. “To Adam and Ginny, may they have a long, healthy, loving, and prosperous marriage!”
The other two raised their mugs. “HERE, HERE!”
A.J. slid down to the end of the booth to make room for Adam and Ginny to sit.
“So, are you guys moving out west then?” Mike asked.
“Haven’t made that decision yet,” answered Adam. ‘Ginny and I are still trying to figure out a few things.”
“Daddy ain’t too keen on Las Vegas,” Ginny added. “He don’t want me a-hundred miles near there.”
Charlie and A.J.’s eyebrows raised up so Adam clarified her statement.
“Her father’s an old school ‘fire and brimstone’ Baptist minister.”
“Ohhhhhhhh.” Both Charlie and A.J. nod their heads. “Yep, that explains it.”
“Aahm just happy Daddy didn’t try to have me churched,” Ginny added.
Again, Charlie and A.J.’s eyebrows raised. They look over to Adam.
“Um… I believe that means thrown out of the church and taken off the membership list for indiscretions,” Adam explained.
“But y’all, it’s all okay now that Adam and I ain’t courting enny more and we got hitched,” pointed out Ginny. She gave Adam a mischievous little grin.
Adam’s face developed a slight ‘deer in the headlights’ expression. A.J. wisely decided to change the subject.
“So, tell me Adam. just how did you end up going to PRIME then?
“Well,” Adam began. “I was really hoping that High Octane Wrestling would offer me a contract after John Sektor and I won the tag tournament.”
“Why didn’t they?” Charlie asked.
“No idea. It never happened so I decided to go back to MVW… won the Men’s Title… and as luck would have it got to defend the MVW Men’s title at HOW’s Dead or Alive show.”
A waitress came up and interrupted Adam mid-sentence.
“Can I get you two anything to drink? Menu?” she said.
“I’ll have a Pepsi,” Adam said. “Ginny?”
“I just have some water,” Ginny said. She picked the menu up and began to review what Heroes had for entrées.
The waitress then departed.
“So, you defended the title at HOW’s Dead or Alive,” Mike said.
“Right. Lindsay Troy was at the show. She’s the CEO and President of PRIME.” Adam leaned in towards the other. “And she watched my match. Then the next thing I know, she’d gotten together with Ray McAvay after the show to make the deal. I was offered a contract and what did Coach Linfield always tell us right before we went into a big wrestling competition?
“Take your chances when you get the opportunity,” all four of them said in unison.
“That’s right. I finally got the shot I’d worked for and there I was… in Las Vegas… last night.” Adam appeared slightly awed by the recounting of what happened the night before at ReVival 14. “It was awesome.”
“Y’all it was really awesome,” Ginny chimed in before resuming her search for a suitable meal. “I used to live so fer back in the woods you hadta pipe sunshine in.” She put her arm around Adam and pulled him towards her. “But that’s allright. I’m just a plumb fool for this boy.”
Adam smiled. Not a natural one. But not quite awkward or mawkish either.
“Interesting,” Charlie said.
Charlie and A.J. both seemed more than a little enchanted in listening to Ginny speak in her Appalachian dialect- a fact that Ginny began to catch when she noticed all three of Adam’s friends were staring at her.
Cue awkward smile.
“So,” Adam finally said. “It looks like I’m going to debut in the ring in two weeks.”
Adam’s raised voice finally snapped Charlie and A.J. out of their respective trances.
“Right,” A.J. said, slightly embarrassed. “Um, who are you going to wrestle?”
“Anyone we know?” Mike chipped in.
“Ria Lock-heart,” Ginny answered. “She’s a girl.”
Grimacing, Adam leaned back in the seat.
“Adam’s a bit flustrated by the whole thing,” teased Ginny.
“Oh. So there’s intergender wrestling in PRIME then,” Mike said.
Adam’s slight tight-lipped nod confirmed that particular fact.
“And that’s a problem?” Charlie said.
“Adam’s mama and daddy schoolin’d him never to raise a hand towards a girl,’ Ginny explained while once again Charlie and A.J. stared at her and… captivated… listened to her speak.
“So what did you father say the one time you fought that guy?” Adam shot back.
Again, Ginny broke into a mischievous smile.
“Well, Daddy never knew bout that.” She put the menu down and leaned forward to tell the story. “Ya see boys, I used to be in MMA tournaments and this whopperjawed cantankerous, slow as molasses and born in a barn boy kept getting all fresh with me. Told me I shoulda never been allowed to MMA and told me he would tan my hide if I fought him.”
“So what did you do?” Charlie inquired.
“Well duh… I challenged the boy to a fight.”
“What happened?” asked A.J.
“Well I lost,” Ginny said matter of factly. “’Course the first thing I did wuz to kick him right in the pecker and y’ain’t supposed to do that in MMA I guess.” She shrugged and then grinned. “Boy never bothered me ever again tho.”
The Next Day: Adam and Ginny’s Apartment Complex Outside of St. Louis
“This is a bad idea,” Adam said as he and Ginny faced each other in the back yard a few feet behind the building.
Ginny hopped up and down and bounced side to side on the grass. Dressed in her gray sports bra and gray athletic shorts, she looked ready for a scrap. Her feet were also all taped up.
Adam on the other hand, he was not dressed for the occasion. Tennis shoes. Pants. Polo shirt.
“This is a really… bad… idea,” Adam reiterated.
Ginny rolled her eyes. “You afixin’ to like or lump it Adam. She’s yer opponent.
“I’m not going to wrestle a woman. That’s not how I was brought up,” Adam maintained.
Now Ginny began to look annoyed. “Straighten up an fly right! She’s a pro wrassler just like you. Now let’s go.”
Ginny took a fighting stance.
“No. I can’t do this.” Adam folded his arms.
“C’mon Adam, take yer best shot,” she said, egging him on.
Adam shook his head no.
“I’m not doing this.”
This only served to rile up Ginny even more. Her voice had a bit more edge. “Wrassle me Adam. Let’s go.”
Will held his ground. “No.”
“Do ah skeer the livin’ daylights outta you?” She was borderline taunting him now.
Ginny motioned him to come after her. “Then wrassle me.”
“Fraid I’ll squarsh you?”
Ginny circled Adam now. She dipped in and darted back out feigning strikes and kicks. Adam still refused to take the bait.
Ginny became exasperated. “Yer stubborn ol’ mule!”
He waved her off. “Screw this. I’m going inside.” Turning his back on her, Adam began to walk back towards the entrance.
“Oh no yer not.” Ginny grabbed Adam and spun him around. Then…
And just like the whopperjawed cantankerous, slow as molasses, born in a barn boy who got fresh with Ginny a few years back found out, Ginny’s got a real mean MMA-style kick… especially when it connected squarely and crisply with the testicles.
Adam’s face turned pale white and Ginny realized what she’d just done.
Wind completely knocked out of him, eyes wide open out, legs bent inward, Adam looked up at her with a look that clearly said… why… he started to drop down to the ground.
“Oh shoot, Adam,” Ginny finally said. “Ahm sorry-“
Adam’s instinct suddenly kicked in. When Ginny came forward to hug him, without thinking Adam sidestepped her and pushed her back. The he fired a thrust kick…
*SMACK* (And no, that was not Adam hitting his thigh with his hand)
…as sweet of a superkick as he’s ever hit. The kick connected right on the button… the point of her chin. Her eyes rolled up into her head and her body stiffened.
“Oh shit.” Horrified, Adam realized what he’d just done and reached out to grab her. But his hands reached just air as Ginny’s legs gave out and she crumpled to the ground- unconscious.
Adam dropped to his knees. “Ginny. Ginny…”
Narrator: Due to the graphic nature of this program, viewer discretion is advised.
♫ “Bad Boys” by Bob Marley ♫
A series of film clips involving law enforcement chasing and apprehending various criminals cycle through in quick cuts followed by…
Narrator: Cops is filmed on location with the men and women of law enforcement. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.
“Jefferson County, Missouri Sheriff- Arnold, Missouri”
The camera of the back seat filmed Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff Paul Marsten pulling his sheriff’s cruiser into the entrance to the parking lot of the Woodglen Apartments.
Deputy Marsten (talking to the camera): Yeah, we just got a call in about a potential domestic disturbance.
Lights flashing, the cruiser pulled into a parking spot and turned off the vehicle.
Deputy Marsten: One of the neighbors reported some sort of altercation took place in the back yard of one of the buildings so we’re here to check it out.
Deputy Marsten opens the door and exits the cruiser.
Deputy Marsten: I hate domestic dispute calls. You never know what you’re going to find.
The camera follows him as he walks around the side of the apartment building. He is greeted by a neighbor- Mrs. Tuttlesworth.
Cut to: Mrs. Tuttlesworth- your typical busy-body neighbor who has to get into everyone’s business and has an uncanny resemblance to Delores Umbridge (Harry Potter reference)- explained what she saw.
Mrs. Tuttlesworth: Deputy, I was looking out my back window and I saw that man kick that girl in the face.
Deputy Marsten: Ma’am, did you see any of the events that lead up to this incident?
Mrs. Tuttlesworth: Well… no. I just know that ever since that girl moved in with him that there’s a lot of noise coming out of that apartment.
Deputy Marsten: Noise?
Mrs. Tuttlesworth: Noise. Especially late at night when I’m trying to sleep. Lots of shouting… yelling… carrying on. Sometimes it lasts most of the night. Like they’re jumping on their bed. It’s quite the racket.
Cut to: another neighbor- Maxwell. He looked really annoyed to be on camera…
Maxwell: Oh for Christ’s sake, they’re newlyweds.
…and real annoyed with his neighbor.
Maxwell: But yeah, they are kind of noisy.
Deputy Marsten: Did you see what happened earlier?
Maxwell: I had to run out to the dumpster to take some trash and saw them in the back. I thought they were working out. They’re pro wrestlers you know.
Deputy Marsten: Pro wrestlers?
Maxwell: Yeah. I think he works for PRIME Wrestling now.
Deputy Marsten: PRIME Wrestling?
Maxwell: Number one by definition.
Deputy Marsten: I see.
The camera then follows Deputy Marsten as he started over to where Adam and Ginny were sitting. But first, he radioed in to dispatch.
Deputy Marsten: Hey Frannie, just curious, by chance are you familiar with PRIME Wrestling?
Dispatcher: Number one by definition.
Deputy Marsten: Hmmm.
Cut to: Deputy Marsten with Adam and Ginny. Both are seated on the ground. Adam still appeared to be in much discomfort. Ginny had a nice little red mark on her chin.
Deputy Marsten: All right. Who wants to go first?
Ginny raised her hand.
Deputy Marsten: Go ahead…
He checked the name on his sheet.
Deputy Marsten: …Ms. Van-
Ginny Van Lear: That’s Miss.
Deputy Marsten: Right.
Deputy Marsten crossed out ‘Ms.’ and wrote in ‘Miss.’
Ginny Van Lear: Miss Van Lear.
Ginny Van Lear: Adam has a wrestlin’ match n’st week ‘gainst Ree-ah Lockhart on PRIME Wrasslin… Y’know… number one by-
Deputy Marsten: Yes, I get it, Miss Van Lear. Please continue.
Ginny Van Lear: He wrassles Ree-ah Lockhart next week and he’s got to get rarin’ to go. But Adam’s got a thing ‘bout wrasslin’ women because his mama and daddy brought him up not to do that. This is his first match and he needs to put his hand to the plow, work hard, and look good for the folks at PRIME.
Deputy Marsten: So. This was all about wrestling?
Ginny Van Lear: Yes sir. You’d havtobe dumber than a coal bucket to think Adam would waylay a woman like that a’purpose.
Deputy Marsten: And the reason Adam kicked you was?
Ginny paused and looked down at the ground.
Ginny Van Lear: Be’ens as ah kicked him… there.
She pointed to the exact spot where she kicked Adam and the miracle of revelation overtook Deputy Marsten.
Deputy Marsten: Oh.
Ginny Van Lear: After I kicked ‘em he looked like death eatin’ a cracker.
Deputy Marsten: Ma’am, I’m not sure I understood what you just said… but I think I now understand what happened here today.
He turned to Adam.
Deputy Marsten: Son, is all of this true?
Sheepishly, Adam nodded in the affirmative and Deputy Marsten had all that he needed to wrap this up.
Deputy Marsten: Okay. Look. It’s clear that you two were engaged in some sort of… wrestling exercise and what happened was an unfortunate accident.
Adam and Ginny both nod in agreement.
Deputy Marsten: However, I suggest that from now on you might want to restrict your… wrestling activities… to places where wrestling activities take place. That should prevent any further misunderstandings like this from happening again. Do you understand?
Both Adam and Ginny agreed.
Deputy Marsten: And you might want to consider finding an apartment with better sound-proofed walls as well.
He winked at them.
Deputy Marsten: Just saying.
Adam and Ginny: Yes sir.
Deputy Marsten: Okay. Have a good night.