Private: Ria Lockhart
Our scene is a rather upscale nail salon, not far from the MGM Grand. The shop is rather full, certainly not hurting for business. Sitting in a cushy chair is one Ria Lockhart. Her feet are soaking in a basin actually attached to the chair. I told you this place was upscale! A nail technician scurries over, having Ria pull her feet from the basin.
“Girl, your feet need some work!” The technician exclaims, chiding Ria just a bit. “What do you do for work that would leave your tootsies in such shape?!”
Ria smiles and can’t help but chuckle lightly.
“I’m a pro wrestler.” Ria says, a statement that draws a befuddled look from the technician.
“Honey, I can’t even…” The technician says, shaking her head in astonishment.
“You make it sound like torture or something!” Ria jokes. The technician again shakes her head.
“Sounds like it to me.” The woman states. “Getting beat up, sweaty, bloody, maybe even breaking bones?! Nuh uh, girl! Not for me.”
Ria shrugs gently, trying to not mess with the work on her feet.
“It’s just what I love. It’s where I feel most at home.” Ria says. “There’s an element of theater to it, projecting your personality for so many people to see. Then there’s the crowds… Their response, the electricity they put off…”
The woman stops for a moment to look up at Ria. It’s a look you’d give something you don’t understand, like an abstract piece of art. The woman concludes her studying to return to Ria’s feet.
“It just sounds like so much work.” The technician more wonders out loud rather than stating. Lockhart gives a subtle nod of her head.
“It is a lot of work. At least it is if you want to be successful.” Ria informs the woman. “For example; I know very little about my opponent this week. He’s big, he’s young, he’s talented. Seems like a good dude, from the things I’ve read.”
“Well that’s a good thing, right?” The woman asks.
“Eh… All that really means is he’ll probably play by the rules. He’s not likely to take things too far.” Lockhart informs her. “He’s still gonna try to kick my ass so he can win. No matter who you are, you’d rather get paid more than less.”
“So wait, you make more for winning?!” The worker asks, clearly never having been exposed to much combat sport.
“Uh huh. Wrestling, MMA, boxing… All these sports pay you more when you win.” Ria expounds further.
“Get your money, girl!” The technician says with a hand wave. Ria giggles and smiles.
“I’m gonna do my best.” Ria cheerfully states. The mood doesn’t last long as her face fades into a slight frown. “I’ve been out of the ring for about a month. I had some mental health struggles. I’m hoping this is a new beginning for me.”
The technician clicks her tongue and shakes her head slowly.
“You gotta have more confidence, babe. How are you supposed to go out there and kick ass if you don’t believe you can?” The woman asks. Ria’s eyes shift upwards as she considers these words.
Adam Ellis… You seem like a nice kid. You and your wife (fucking hell dude, you’re only 22… Could’ve waited a bit) seem like a cute couple. I haven’t seen you in action, but you’re well built and at least good enough to win some titles. Simply put, even with your age, this ain’t gonna be a walk in the park for me. Lindsay wouldn’t have signed you if you weren’t worth it.
I’ll say this much, though. You want to learn? I’m more than happy to give you some on the job training. See, Adam, I’ve been out of the ring for a minute. I’ve missed it. Missed more than most people understand. I’ve said this before, but I’m more than happy to repeat it. In the ring, I’m an equal. It doesn’t matter what size I am, my gender, skin color, religion, whatever else…
In the ring, none of that determines anything. Even if one’s a giant, they better be able to match their opponent’s ability. Being big isn’t enough. I’ve seen it time and time again in my career. Talent and brains, in my opinion, are what really matters. If you have one, you can make some waves. If you have both? There’s a chance you can go all the way to the top.
I’ll be 28 soon. I’m in that weird in-between club in PRIME. I’m not one of the older vets, but I’ve been doing this for 12 years. I’m not one of the promising prospects under 25, but I am under 30. I’m a bit of an anomaly, but you could probably say that for just about any bit of my life. I’m not sure I’d really want it to be different anyway.
I’m eager. I wanna get back out there. I wanna hear the roar of the crowd. I wanna take a shot and feel my blood start to boil a bit. I wanna push and fight and battle until I’m completely spent! I need this! I need all of it. Nothing reminds you more of being alive than getting smacked in the mouth. Nothing validates that pain more than having your hand raised at the end of the night.
This is what you’re dealing with, Adam. I’m wrestling obsessed. This is my life! It has been since before I could even spell wrestling properly. This isn’t just a job, or something I kinda enjoy doing. Even when I’m relaxing, even in my most private moments, I’m still thinking of wrestling. I’m gonna force you to match my passion, match my dedication.
Are you up for it, Adam? Do you have the ability, the drive, the fortitude to make your first shot in PRIME matter? I think you’ve got something, sure. But I don’t want to give you that. Not at my expense. I’m not a terribly selfish person, but I’m sure as shit gonna be in this situation. I think you’ll have some great moments in PRIME. This won’t be one of them. This is my match. Welcome to the madhouse, kid. Keep your up.