It felt good to get the win over Tony Gamble at ReVival 23. I mean, really good. The win was a great way to make up for the disaster of losing to Jonathan-Christopher Hall at ReVival 21 and showing that I can learn from my mistakes.
Unfortunately, the win over Gamble came at a cost. During the match, Gamble kicked the crap out of my left knee over and over and by the time I started walking to the back with Ginny after the match the pain was intense. Knee swelling up as we went up the ramp, I hoped just walking it off after the show might help it a little.
Waking up the next morning with the pain still radiating from my knee, I had to drag myself out of bed because it was a travel day. So after we took the short flight from New Orleans to Dallas on Saturday morning, Ginny and I drove home from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport with the hope that, by staying off my feet the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday, my knee would be ready to go first thing on Monday morning.
Charlie took one look at my knee and sent me to a doctor. He diagnosed the injury as a severe ligament sprain.
Two weeks off. Swell.
For almost four years now, with the exception of the time off last year for Ginny’s dad, my every waking moment focused on one thing and one thing only- pro wrestling. Getting better at- pro wrestling. Following two weeks of not being able to move around very easily and being bored out of my mind at home, ReVival 24 rolled around and- finally- I could at least walk semi-normally.
So Ginny and I decided to drive down to Houston for the show. Of course, we had to walk through the special security check that was set up for Ginny as a result of her shooting down a sponsor’s inflatable with a shotgun at ReVival 23. They checked Ginny out thoroughly to make sure she wasn’t bringing contraband firearms into the building.
Ginny did feel bad about what happened at ReVival 23. She not only profusely apologized to the sponsor after the show but she also apologized to me because of the fine that we had to pay as a result of the incident.
After we finally went into the arena, I spent a quiet night backstage watching the action inside the ring and trying to learn more. I was able to walk around without too much trouble. Yeah, there was still a little ache whenever I took a step but it was nowhere as bad as it had been before.
So with that in mind, Monday came around and I arrived at the new Dallas Sportatorium- ready to go and get back to work. But Charlie Blackwell took one look at my knee and shook his head. I was a bit crestfallen by his reaction and protested that I was good and willing to get back to it.
Here’s how the conversation went…
Charlie Blackwell: Adam. Let’s give your knee a few more days to get better.
Adam Ellis: But-
Charlie Blackwell: No buts. Go home and we’ll talk later on in the week.
…and that was that.
He thought the knee still looked a little swollen and didn’t want to take any chances with it. So extremely frustrated at the fact that I would continue to be sidelined for at least a couple more days, I walked out of the Sportatorium, jumped into my Jetta, and drove back home to Greenville.
Adam Ellis- Couch Potato
Ginny was not home when I walked through the door. She was churchin’… at church doing all kinds of churchy-type things. I parked myself on my comfy chair in front of our big screen television and watched TV with my bad leg propped because… what the heck else was I going to do?
Two hours later, Ginny walked in the door and did a double-take when she saw me in the comfy chair.
Ginny Van Lear: Adam?
I waved back at her.
Ginny Van Lear: Dontcha arter be at the gym?
I pointed to my bad knee.
Ginny Van Lear: Oh. Still ain’t feelin’ well then?
Shaking my head no, I tried to lift the leg in the air but it still lacked the strength to do so.
Ginny Van Lear: Well don’t hert it anymore.
Adam Ellis: I’m tryin’ to keep it propped up.
Her shock then turned to dismay when she noticed the neighbor kid…
Neighbor Kid: Hey.
…sitting on the couch. We both knew the kid. He lived in the trailer behind us and occasionally stopped over to say hi and all that. The kid knew who I was and coincidentally also just happened to be a wrestling fan.
The kid noticed I was home and stopped in to talk… and to watch some TV with me.
The show on the television drew Ginny’s attention.
Ginny Van Lear: Honey… whatar you watchin’?
I gave her my best contrite look.
Adam Ellis: I’m sorry dear. I’m watching the season finale of this really great reality television show called- So You Really Really Want to be a World Famous Daredevil.
Ginny Van Lear: Really now?
Adam Ellis: Um…
I tried to make it look like I was really excited about the show.
Adam Ellis: …yeah!
Ginny shook her head and tapped her foot on the floor.
Ginny Van Lear: And jus’ why are y’all watchin this?
Neighbor Kid: They’re down to the last three contestants!
She shot the kid a quick look and then she gave me her best expression of ‘disapproval.’
Ginny Van Lear: Down tuh three contestants fer what?
But before I could answer…
TV MC (from the TV): Hello, I’m Bink Martindale and welcome to So You Really Really Want to be a World Famous Daredevil!”
The kid and I were definitely stoked about watching this.
Ginny Van Lear: What?
Ginny… yeah, not so much.
TV MC: Our first contestant is just about to attempt to jump Viper Canyon in a custom-made rocket cycle!
Ginny’s expression was priceless.
Ginny Van Lear: What ar’they doin?”
Adam Ellis: Jumping Viper Canyon in a custom-made rocket cycle. You know, just like Evel Knievel tried to do.
Neighbor Kid: Who’s Evel Knievel?
Adam Ellis: Shhh. I’ll tell you all about him later.
Ginny took a gander at the young lady who excitedly hopped up and down next to Bink Martindale.
Ginny Van Lear: Who’es she?
TV MC: Are you ready to go for the two hundred and fifty million dollar grand prize as well as fame and fortune beyond your wildest dreams?”
Adam Ellis: An overly excited contestant.
Overly Excited Female Contestant (from the TV): I sure am, Bink!
Adam Ellis: This is really gripping stuff, Gin.
Ginny Van Lear: How so?
Adam Ellis: These three are the last survivors of the preliminary rounds.
Neighbor Kid: Literally.
Ginny watched the contestant willingly climb into the rocket cycle and get strapped in.
TV MC: All right! Off you go!
Ginny Van Lear: Ar they al’ dumber than a coal bucket?
Adam Ellis: Well…
The roar of the rocket ship taking off from the TV drowned out Adam’s voice.
Neighbor Kid: BLAST OFF!
Ginny shook her head as the rocket cycle cut through the air gaining altitude over Viper Canyon.
Adam Ellis: Have you heard-
The sound from the rocket ship filling up the living room made it hard for her to hear me.
Ginny Van Lear: What, dear?”
I tried to increase the volume without shouting.
Adam Ellis: Have you heard…
She looked back at me and flipped both her hands to palm up, signaling that she couldn’t hear a damn thing I was saying.
So I shouted.
Adam Ellis: HAVE YOU HEARD WHO I’M WRESTLING AT TWENTY-FIVE?
Ginny appeared confused and not sure she heard what I said.
Ginny Van Lear: Yes. They’re in Marietta. He’s doin a town hall meetin on thuh riverfront tonight.
Yeah, she totally winged it.
TV MC (commenting on the flight): …so far, looking good as the rocket climbs into the air…
Then a bright flash emitted from the TV that made me have to blink my eyes. The flash was then followed by the ominous sound of the rocket exploding in mid-flight.
TV MC: …ooooh. Not so good…
Neighbor Kid: WHOAAAAAA!
Awed by the majestic light show that followed the disintegration of the rocket, the kid turned to me.
Neighbor Kid: COOL!
This kind of concerned Ginny.
Ginny Van Lear: Honey. Should the boy be watchin’ this?
Adam Ellis: Sweetheart, my parents grew up watching Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner and look how they turned out.
Ginny Van Lear: But-
TV MC: So here’s our second contestant. He will attempt to jump Viper Canyon using a giant twenty-foot slingshot to propel him three hundred feet into the air…
Neighbor Kid: Slingshot over the river? AWESOME!
With Ginny giving me another stare, I decided to calm him down a little.
Adam Ellis: Shhhh.
It didn’t work. The kid was still bouncing up and down on the couch watching the show- that he probably shouldn’t have been watching.
TV MC: …where he’ll land in that giant, inflatable landing pad on the other side of this half-mile wide canyon. The question on everyone’s mind is…are you ready to become famous?
Overly Excited Guy About to Meet his Demise: HELL, YEAH!
TV MC: All right. Off you go!
Ginny pointed at the television.
Ginny Van Lear: He ain’t really gonna-
TV MC: AND THERE HE GOES!
Ginny Van Lear: …do it?
We all watched as the man climbed into the air high over the gaping canyon below…. reached his apex… and started coming down.
TV MC: Does he have enough to clear the other side of the canyon?
Adam Ellis: Uh oh.
TV MC: Nope. Not quite.
Ginny had seen enough.
Ginny Van Lear: Adam, please turn the channel.
Adam Ellis: But…
(to be continued)
Living the Dream
Both of us have traveled two very different paths that are converging next Friday at ReVival 25.
I did some homework and learned that when you started your wrestling career back in 2007- over fifteen years ago- I was only seven years old. Unfortunately, injury and pregnancy cut your in-ring career short so you retired until you got the itch to return to the ring. Since you’ve signed on with PRIME, your record stands at one win and one loss.
This is what I’ve learned about you. You started at ground zero and through sheer determination, heart, and grit, you somehow won that first match. There is no blind luck in wrestling. Only winning and losing. And that’s exactly what you did that night in your first match against an opponent who came in with much more experience than you did. You won. That was your moment. Your story is one where your road took you away from pro wrestling and sent you through the wilderness outside of the wrestling industry. Until you decided to take another road back and give wrestling another shot
The moral to your story that I get out of it is that dreams never die and you can rewrite history if you’re willing to take the chance and do the work at making your dreams come true. That’s the path you chose.
My path? A little bit different. My career started a couple months after I graduated from high school when I walked into an open tryout for MVW and it took me four long years to get to PRIME. Since then, I’ve had a couple wins… a couple losses.
Not going to lie to you. Wrestling a woman is still a concept that I kinda struggle to wrap my arms around. My parents brought me up to never strike a woman. There was no intergender wrestling at Missouri Valley Wrestling and I never had to wrestle a female when I was working with John Sektor at High Octane Wrestling. So here I was in the big time… my first singles match at PRIME… and my opponent just happened to be Ria Lockhart. We all saw what happened. Ginny tried to help me in my training for the match. She attempted to goad me into ‘fighting’ her and… well… things got a little carried away. Ginny kicked me the balls with one of her MMA-like kicks and then in the heat of the moment, my instincts kicked in and I nailed her with a textbook, picture-perfect superkick. Unfortunately, the neighbors also saw it and as a result, Ginny and I both ended up on an episode of COPS.
But the moral of my story is that I had to overcome my reticence about wrestling a woman to defeat Ria Lockhart. And I had to… because Ria’s really good. When I finally got my head on straight against Ria, I didn’t take her lightly and I was damn lucky I didn’t. On top of the fact it was my PRIME debut, I had to stay focused on the task at hand to get the win over Ria.
I won’t take you lightly either- not in a million years. I know better than that. My knee is still a little problematic at the moment thanks to Tony Gamble’s work on it at ReVival 23. But by the time ReVival 25 comes around, we should be ready to go one hundred percent inside the ring. I will be ready to do what needs to be done to make sure I come out with my second win in a row going into Culture Shock in my new adopted hometown of Dallas… actually Arlington… and I live a few miles east of Dallas… but it’s close… um, yeah… you get the point.
Both of us share a love of pro wrestling which is why we signed on with PRIME and why we will meet each other on Friday March 24th at ReVival 25.
I really do hope you do get your chance to rewrite history. I hope you can come back and wow a new bunch of fans who’ve never seen you wrestle before. I hope that you continue to break out of the shadows and write the version of your story you want to write and get the ending that you are looking for.
But just not this week.
You’re living your dream. I’m living mine.
You see, I have my own story that’s unfolding of a young kid who grew up in the Heartland of America watching pro wrestling getting a chance to live out his dreams on one of the biggest stages pro wrestling offers. A chance to prove that he belongs and make my own mark competing at the upper echelon against some of the best wrestlers in the world. A chance that I can prove myself worthy of becoming a champion here someday.
My road that brought me to this point had an unfortunate detour when Ginny’s father passed away suddenly and I had to come home for a couple of months to help my wife get through it. But now, I’m back on the trail and working hard to make sure the road I’m traveling on right now is the one that takes me to the top.
The best thing about the road I’m on is that I’m not traveling on it alone. Meeting and marrying Ginny and bringing her along with me on the journey has been probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I know she’ll have my back and we will share our journey… our adventures and misadventures… together.
Sure, Ginny can be a little fiery at times. Sometimes Ginny lets her emotions get the best of her and govern what she does… you know, like sticking a buck bomb inside a heel group’s fancy Hollywood-style trailer as she did in MVW… like taking out a few drunk idiots at a country concert at Gruene Hall Texas we went to… or… yes… even shooting down an inflatable at ReVival 23.
But that’s what makes Ginny… Ginny. She reminds me of a country song a few years back called Angel Eyes by a group named Love and Theft.
She likes whiskey with her water
She starts dancing when the stars come out
She ain’t your typical preacher’s daughter
She’ll leave you dreamin’ yeah there ain’t no doubt
Okay, she doesn’t like drinking whiskey… or any other alcoholic beverage for that matter… with her water… in fact, I don’t think she’s ever taken a drink of alcohol ever in her life. And no, she does not dance when the stars come out- even though she’s trying on that front. But for sure, Ginny ain’t your typical daughter of a preacher. Nope. Not by any stretch.
The chorus of the song describes her best.
There’s a little bit of devil in her angel eyes
She’s a little bit of heaven with a wild side
Got a rebel heart a country mile wide
There’s a little bit of devil in her angel eyes
A little bit of devil in her angel eyes
Yeah. That’s her.
When I still was at Missouri Valley Wrestling and starting to get more matches, I made a tough decision. I broke off an engagement with a girl I’d been with since high school. Perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life up to that point. I did it thinking I needed to do so to focus on my career.
After meeting and getting to know Ginny… now I don’t think that’s the case. In retrospect, it’s now clear to me that my high school sweetheart wasn’t the right one.
Choosing to be with Ginny wasn’t a tough decision- she was the one.
The right one.
And now, I am truly living the dream.
The Last Contestant
Oh. Much to my wife’s heartburn, the neighbor kid and I did end up watching the final contestant attempt to jump over Viper Canyon.
TV MC: Our final contestant will attempt to fly over Viper Canyon from a giant cannon and land in that giant, inflatable landing pad on the other side!
Neighbor Kid: Awww… can’t we watch the last guy?
TV MC: Are you ready?
The contestant seemed to be having second thoughts… third thoughts… and even fourth thoughts about doing this.
Third Contestant Who’s Having Second, Third, and Fourth Thoughts About Doing This: I don’t want to do this anymore.
TV MC: Why not?
Third Contestant: Because the rest of the contestants are all dead!
TV MC: Technically, that’s not true. One is still on life support.
Third Contestant: Really?
Ginny Van Lear: That boy needs a lil’ schoolin’ or book learnin’.
Third Contestant: Oh! Okay! Let’s do it!”
Neighbor Kid: YES!
Adam Ellis: Shhhhhh.
Everyone counted down from five and with a mighty sound the contestant shot out of the cannon at high speed into the air.
TV MC: And there he goes… high… high into the air.
Ginny Van Lear: I caint watch this.
TV MC: And there he goes…high, high into the air…
I had to learn forward and watch as the man soared majestically over Viper Canyon.
TV MC: …higher …higher …higher… now he’s coming down… lower… lower… lower…
Ginny’s jaw dropped about that point.
TV MC: …lower… lower… lower…
Then she covered her eyes.
TV MC: ..way lower……lower……lower lower…
The camera showed the onlooker at the edge of the canyon watching as the man got smaller… smaller… and smaller… until…
TV MC: Well, amazing as it sounds, for the second year in a row, NO ONE wins the grand prize of over one hundred million dollars!
This was one of those rare times when Ginny dropped the Kentucky accent and spoke in an authoritative, almost-motherly, tone.
Ginny Van Lear: Turn… the… channel… NOW!
Neighbor Kid: Party pooper.
Ginny Van Lear: And YOU. Go home.
Neighbor Kid: But-
Ginny Van Lear: NOW!
I tapped the kid on the shoulder.
Adam Ellis: You’d better listen to her. She can shoot an inflatable balloon out of the sky at fifty yards.
The kid knew exactly what I was referencing. He shot up from the couch…
Neighbor Kid: Okaygottagoseeyoulater!
…and took off for the door.
TV MC: Tune in next year for another-