=== >:J === TALES FROM A BROOM CLOSET === >:J ===
MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA
“Hey Devin, it’s me again.”
Tony “The Grin” Gamble lays across the floor of the broom closet on his stomach, his legs bent at the knee as he swings them in a criss-crossing motion. He isn’t sure how much time had passed since his encounter with the Queen of the Ring, but with the door locking from the outside he had made the most of his time so far. Wet floor signs with mop sticks stuck in the center had aided in creating a mini fort with what looked like ponchos spread out across the top to create the makeshift roof drooping down above his head. Speaking of his head, there was a small waste basket bag tied tightly around his forehead using a couple of strands from the mop head; the excess strands hanging down the side of his cheeks still dripping slightly.
“Not sure if you ignored my call and sent me straight to your voicemail, but like I said in my last message…I could really use your help.”
He chuckles as he shakes his head, “Like getting me out of this damn broom closet for starters. I swear, the shit I get myself into sometimes. Still, Queenie’s not going to be able to help herself. She’ll offer me a contract, then the real show will begin.”
He pauses a beat, knowing full well he may as well be making a deal with the Devil(le?). Devin Shakur is the last person welcome in PRIME, having been the one driving the final nail in the coffin a few years ago. It left a sour taste in many a mouth, and Tony wouldn’t be himself if he didn’t try to exploit that in some way. Besides, Devin was his brother from another mother, the peanut butter to his jelly, and the sugar to his Kool-aid. There is no one else he would rather take this new journey with than the EMO one himself.
“I need you for that.” He felt his heart beating against the back of his throat, making it hard to swallow the guilt he felt for even asking for this favor. “As good as I am, I’m not arrogant enough to believe I can do this on my own. Not to mention how pissed off Troy would be if she saw you again. The look on her face alone would be worth it.”
Colossus VIII was a show many in PRIME wanted to forget, but for Tony it was a crowning moment that solidified him as one of the greatest in its history. He was never the biggest or the strongest, never held the Universal title, and yet his name would be mentioned among men who had accomplished grander things than he had. Shakur was more than likely the driving force behind his nomination, but in his desire to be immortalized as one of PRIME’s hall of famers he stood right there alongside the rest of the roster and took a few shots of his own on a man that considered him to be his best friend.
That was the last time they really spoke to each other, and Tony knew it was his actions that had him locked in a broom closet with no one by his side right now. It was no secret that he was a bit of a prick back in those days, but he was a changed man now. Now he was only a prick to people he didn’t like, like Josh from gardening.
“Look, I know the last time we were together I was speed bagging your sac…” He is distracted momentarily by the sound of someone fidgeting with the door. “I know it doesn’t make things any better, but I told you peer pressure was a bitch. Plus, I was still waiting for my hall of fame induction. You of all people know how bad I wanted that.”
The door opens, and you can see a little silhouetto of a man. It was Enemigo 4, to be exact, and he was holding what looked like a stack of papers in his hand.
“Just call me back, okay?” His attention is on the papers the Enemigo held firmly in his hand, certainly the contract he was expecting. “Hell, post on my MySpace page. It doesn’t really matter how, just reach out my dude.”
=== >:J === MAKE ME OVER === >:J ===
“So how long has it been since you had a haircut?”
Tony looked up at the reflection in the mirror instead of the woman with the blonde pixie cut that was clipping a black nylon cape around his neck.
“I don’t know,” he said with a slight shrug. “Four… maybe five months.”
Truth is, looking at the reflection of the man in the mirror, you would never recognize the Permascar Superstar. The salt and peppered disheveled mop atop his head, matched a bird’s nest of a beard Hessian would be envious of. The former Five Star champion trimmed the hair on his cheek high enough to cover up the scar that had made him unforgettable, the permanent reminder of his choice to leave a past that would only lead to death or prison behind him… though that past was always within arm’s reach, breathing down his neck with bated breath. It was something that no one in his former line of “work” ever really escaped, you just had to bide your time and hope that the people that knew you in that past life either died; or were locked up long enough to forget you ever existed. That apparently had not happened yet, which has brought us here to update Tony’s appearance.
“So what made you come in,” she asked as she combed her fingers through his hair. “You got a big date or something?”
“No, nothing like that,” he replied dismissively. While it was not a date, he would be kidding himself if he wasn’t a little excited; and at the same time nervous, about what was on the horizon. “It’s just my past catching up to me.”
“Dyeing your hair brown will take a few years off, but there is something about gray hair that just makes a man look more distinguished.”
“Trust me,” he chuckled softly. “I am anything but. As a matter of fact, I’m about to ruin so many people’s night in a few days… I may be the only one laughing at the end.”
He said people, but there was only one person in the match he was interested in. The other three were just collateral damage that may get caught in the crossfire, were they foolish enough to interfere with his plans for the evening. Truth was, he did not know any of the four people in the match, but he was given the name of one; Rowan Scatino. He went by the ring name Mortimer Kjedelig, another name he was not familiar with. Rowan had apparently been running his mouth about things that some people he may or may not be associated with did not want aired out for all to know. No names that could be used as evidence in a court of law had been mentioned, but Frank felt Rowan had looser lips than Maryanne McGuiness and he wanted them shut.
“Well,” she pulled on a pair of latex gloves as she spoke. “Let’s get rid of this gray then, shall we.”
One last look in the mirror, one last look at a life where no one knew who he was.
In a few days the questions would begin.
Where has he been…
Why is he back…
Once again, the internet will be going nuts.
=== >:J === GAMEDAY JITTERS === >:J ===
“What in the hell are you about to do?”
I truly do not know the answer to that question. For the last few days I had been asking myself this same question, and now moments away from running out into the MGM Grand Garden Arena… I still didn’t know the damn answer.
A few weeks ago I was greeting people as they walked into Walmart, checking receipts as others walked out with their purchases. Did I really believe that I would be able to step back into a ring like it was the Revolution after Colossus VIII? No, I would be a fool to think that. Yet, here I am with a chair wrapped in barbed wire getting ready to crack open the skull of Mortimer Kjedelig.
This was the easy part though. It doesn’t take much effort to run into a ring and beat the hell out of someone when they aren’t expecting it, but if what I’m anticipating comes to fruition… If I actually sign a damn contract and have to step into the ring with someone that has had time to prepare for me, time to study old tapes of the man I used to be.
Am I going to be able to compete at the level everyone would expect out of me, or am I going to flop around like a damn fish out of water and become a damn laughing stock to the fans that have only heard stories of how good I was. Am I going to regret coming out of retirement, tarnishing the legacy I worked so hard for.
A few days ago I stared into a mirror at a man that was happy with who he had become, content with a life away from the ring. Now all I see is the man that no one liked, the prick that never held his tongue and put himself before everyone else in his life in order to gain success.
I hated this damn smile for so long. I hated my own damn face, because all I ever saw when I looked in a mirror was some bastard laughing at me. Now here he was again, mocking me for ever thinking I could truly ever be able to look at myself without seeing that damn smile.
Smiling, because he was back.
Smiling, because he knew I would be back.
Smiling, because there was no way I could ever stop, and no amount of hair on my face would ever change that.
Standing here now, I’m not sure who I am more upset with right now, Frank for asking me to do this in the first place, or myself for allowing the idea to sit around the campfire and tell stories about how much fun it was… long enough to forget how much work it was. The constant training, the pressure to be better than your opponent, and the need to be the one talked about around the water cooler the next day.
I should just call Frank and tell him I can’t do it. He’ll understand.
I was a nervous wreck, and had I not spent the last forty-five minutes emptying out the mexican pizza from Taco Bell I had for lunch, I would more than likely be reaching second base with Ivory in the second stall. Maybe if I hit him hard enough, and did enough damage tonight there would be no reason to continue on and pretend I even have a chance against this new generation of PRIMEates.
“Are they even called that anymore?”
I didn’t recognize too many people on the roster. As a matter of fact, I recognized more of the staff than I did anyone else. Hell, some of them are the children of people that wrestled the last time I stepped foot in a ring. They were good too. There isn’t one person on the roster that I could look at and know it would be an easy win.
Okay, maybe Dusk.
“Stop doubting yourself.”
Son of a bitch, I need to get out of my own damn head. I’m standing here worrying about what’s to come, how I’m going to handle something that hasn’t even happened yet. I need to stay focused on what I need to do now, I can worry about the future in a few minutes. Right now I need to concentrate on going out there and wrapping this chair around the thick damn head of Kjedelig.
I can hear the crowd cheering about something. I should go out there now, he should be too tired to realize I’m even there until it’s too late. The steel chair is cold in my grip… It actually feels relaxing, like it belongs there. It does, because I do.
“Time to make Morty smile.”