I want to save these for posterity. None of you will give a damn, but hey. These are the roleplays I wrote for my "retirement" match in e-wrestling. It helps that I won :) If you want to read 'em, they're here, if not, it won't bother me none
Scott Johansen and his accompanying camera crew exited the FsW Media Van, ready for what was sure to be a history-making interview. Scott stopped everyone and held a small meeting at the back of the van.
"Alright, people, this is what's gonna happen...Josh, you're gonna fade in on me standing in front of the door, I'll do my little spiel, knock on the door, Michaels'll answer it, and we'll go from there. Bob, you keep the boom mic out of the frame this time, or I'm running you over on the way back to the hotel. Everybody got it?"
The other two gentlemen nodded.
"Good...let's do this!" The three touched fists and made their way to the front door of the small, two-bedroom Newton home.
Scott stood on the front step and signaled to the cameraman.
*The camera fades in to interviewer Scott Johansen standing on the stoop of a small home>*
Scott: Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here today in Newton, Massachusetts, at the home of wrestling legend Steve Michaels. Steve is coming out of retirement to face his long-time rival Chris Sharpe at the special Friday Night Fireworks event that's coming up next month. We're here today to get some words from him, in his first televised interview in almost two years. This could be an historic event...
*Scott knocks on the door and waits...and waits...and waits...Scott rings the doorbell once...twice...and a third time...*
Scott: Shit, cut...
Josh shut the camera off and dropped it from his shoulder, "What's goin on?"
"No idea..." Scott replied, puzzled, "This is definitely his house...and he should be home! I don't know what the deal is..."
Scott's thought was interrupted as the door behind him opened. In the doorway stood Steve Michaels, groggy-eyed and unshaven, in a ratty old t-shirt and grey sweatpants. "Wha?" he said with a yawn.
"Uh...Mr. Michaels..." Scott replied, a bit more puzzled, "We...we're here to interview you...for FsW..."
"Ahhhhhhh shit...was that today? Uhm...hang on...well, wait...come in, at least..." Michaels welcomed the three men into his small home and guided them into the living room, "You caught me sleeping...I had to throw something on when I heard the doorbell...have a seat for now, can I get you guys a drink?"
Bob and Scott shook their heads, Josh pondered the thought and said, "Got any beer?"
"Can't say that I do, cameraguy...I can offer you a root beer, though...OJ, milk, Mountain Dew, water...any of those sound appetizing?"
"Massachusetts water..." Josh said with a shudder, "I'll take the Mountain Dew, it's certainly better for me..."
"Tell me about it, I'll be right back," Michaels said as he left the room. He returned a minute later and tossed Josh a can. "I'm gonna make myself look presentable...if you need somethin just yell." And with that he ran upstairs.
Josh popped open the can and took a drink. The three men just sat there, slightly uncomfortable, twiddling their thumbs, their gazes moving from the floor to the ceiling and back.
"Well, it's a nice home..." Scott offered, hesitantly, "Christ I hope he doesn't take long..."
Michaels returned a short while later, in a light blue dress shirt, a dark tie, black slacks, and clean-shaven.
"I think I'm ready..." he offered, "Where you want to do this?"
"Well..." Scott replied, "where's best for you?"
"Let's hit the deck..." With that Michaels led the men through the kitchen and out onto the deck in the backyard. Michaels and Scott took seats in a couple patio chairs, while Josh and Bob took their positions.
*The camera fades in (once again) to interviewer Scott Johansen and Steve Michaels, sitting in the backyard of a small home*
Scott: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, we are here today in Newton, Massachusetts with wrestling legend Steve Michaels. Steve is coming out of retirement to face his long-time rival Chris Sharpe at the special Friday Night Fireworks event that's coming up next month. We're here today to get some words from him, in his first televised interview in almost two years. This could be an historic event...
STM: You been practicin' that one all day?
Scott: Well, yeah...
STM: Sounded great...anyway, ask away, brother man.
Scott: Well, Steve, a lot of people are wondering, it's been quite a while since you last set foot in the ring, are there going to be any signs of ring rust at the pay per view?
STM: Well, Scott, of course there's gonna be rust...but I've got to take the chance here, between now, and the show, to get my fat, outta shape ass over to the gym and grind all that rust off. It's not gonna be easy, not by a long shot, but it's gotta be done. I can't look like a damn fool in my retirement match, y'know? So what I have to do is get out there, and work my damn ass off, so I can get in that ring on pay per view, make it worth the 20 dollars and the free shirt for the viewers at home, beat the hell out of Chris Sharpe once and for all, get him to stop leaving messages on my answering machine each time he signs a new contract, and get that EWA title around my waist. Then...and only then...will I not regret stepping out of retirement for this match.
Scott: So are you saying...wait...Chris Sharpe leaves you voice mail?
STM: Shit yeah...every time he signs a new contract he calls me, "Hey Steve, guess what, I joined this new fed, you should come on in, we can rekindle our feud." I used to call him back, but after the sixth, eighth, tenth time I just let him go on and blather to the little cassette tape, hoping he'd get some career-ending injury so maybe we could have something different to talk about. I'm kidding of course, I wouldn't want him to have a career-ending injury...just something so he couldn't talk any more...
Scott: Well, he finally got his match.
STM: Yes he did.
Scott: So what are your plans going in? Is there a specific strategy you'll have when you step into that ring?
STM: Well, Scott...that's tough to say. In all my years of wrestling I can not recall ever participating in a ladder match. I've had some hellacious battles, I've got scars here there and everywhere, thank you Andy Lister for some of those, but not one ladder match comes to mind. So, it's kind of hard...not only coming out of retirement, but coming out of retirement into a match I've never fought in before.
Scott: So are you saying it's unfair for you to be put in this type of match when...
STM: Oh, no, not at all...hell, I signed up for it. Solar called me just the other day said, "Chris had the idea to make this a ladder match, would you be up for that?" and I said, "Hell yeah!" If you're gonna go out, make sure you go out in a blaze of glory, y'know? Hell, Chris and I have known each other for years, I know he wouldn't have suggested it if he didn't think he or I could deliver. That's one of my favorite things about this match. I couldn't have picked a better opponent. I know Chris and I will be able to put together a show-stopper that'll be suitable for my going out.
Scott: So you're leaving the fate of your career in the hands of Chris "One-Half of Free Beer" Sharpe...
STM: Point well-taken, my man. Hell, could be worse, I could be facing Exodus, Leviathen, Muntjack, The Sniper, or any of the rest of the long list of people who've kicked my ass over the years. Or...on the other hand...I could be facing Blake Eastwood or Joe E. Jones...two men who could bore the paint off a boat. And hell, Chris and I have never actually faced each other in the ring, as I recall. So it's a new match type, a new opponent, man, what the hell did I get myself IN to?! Well...y'know, I have faith...and shit, the fans'll enjoy it. And if they don't...they've got a free t-shirt. All I know is, Chris Sharpe and I have been gunning for each other for years, and we've never had the chance to actually fight. And now, finally, after all this time, we get to beat the hell out of each other. And I know it's gonna be my final time stepping between those ropes...my final time stepping into the squared circle as a competitor, hell, it could even be my final time ever, as a competitor, executive, referee, announcer, ring boy, who knows. And because of that, I'm going to wrestle my damn heart out. I'm gonna leave my damn life in that ring on that night. Chris knows that...and that's why I signed on that dotted line. It's one final shot to give everything I've got, one last chance to show my worth, the ultimate match...my...Final...match. My final match in a business to whom I've donated my blood, sweat, tears, time, energy, money, and about six relationships. And when it's all said and done...when I'm sitting atop that ladder, EWA Title Belt in my hands, looking out over that crowd for one last time...it's...it's gonna be amazing...I hope I don't disappoint...
Scott: Somehow...I don't think that'll be a problem. Until next time, this is Scott Johansen, FsW TV.
*The camera fades to the FsW logo, then to black*
Michaels took a deep breath and looked towards the sky.
"You good?" Scott asked.
"Yeah...I'd forgotten how much fun that was."
"Yeah, it has its moments."
"Sure does. Well, let me show you out, then I need to take a damn shower...I feel almost gross..."
Michaels led the men back through his home and back out the front door. "See you around," he said, closing the door behind him. Now this, he thought to himself as he walked up the stairs, is gonna be fun...
Steve Michaels laid on his couch, staring at the ceiling while running his fingers through his hair, in front of him, on the floor, sat Kristen Anderson, Steve's girlfriend of three months. His right arm was draped down across her shoulders, and she had her right hand against his forearm.
"God," he said with a sigh, "what have I gotten myself in to?"
"Oh honey, you'll be fine!" she said, reassuringly.
"Come on, I haven't wrestled in a year, I haven't had a good training session in about eight months, I haven't been on my diet in about six months, and the match is, what, one week away? I'm screwed! I'm gonna look like a fool..."
"You will not! You said it yourself, it's like riding a bicycle, once you get back into it, it's easy to remember! Come on, you've been sparring with Brian since you signed the match, just cause you haven't had a full-on gym session doesn't mean you're screwed!" She patted his arm and stood up, he rolled on to his side and she sat on the edge of the couch with him, "You'll do fine!"
"Yeah, but you don't know Chris! I don't think he's stopped wrestling since he turned old enough to get signed! The guy's a machine!"
"You can be a machine, too, y'know..." she said with a wink.
"Well that's different, come on. If you think wrestling and sex are the same thing..." he paused, thinking of how to close the joke, "then you need to teach me how to wrestle..."
She smacked him on the chest, "Shut up, you!"
"Y'know, though, he does have a point. He and I, and Andy, Flyer, all of them, we're a dying breed. We're old! We're the former generation. I don't know of anyone from the old days who's still fighting except for him. Everyone else has moved on, hell, I haven't even stayed in contact with most of 'em, but I know Flyer's pursuing his writing career, Tigro went on and got a desk job at some computer company, shit, I'm a damn game show host, for cryin' out loud. Chris, though, he's a different breed of animal. He's still got that competitive fire burnin' deep down inside him. And now I gotta take that fire on. I have to get that fire back inside me to even just have a chance!"
"You can do it though! I know you can!"
"How do you know..."
"Do you remember that softball game last month?"
"Bottom of the ninth, 2 on, your team was down 3-2. What did you do?"
"I knocked one into the parking lot."
"You got that fire! I saw it when you crossed home plate, in the three and a half months I've known you I've never seen you that excited, that pumped up."
"I had the fire." Steve sits up, pulling his legs out from behind his girlfriend.
"You...had the fire."
"So you're sayin I shoulda challenged Chris to a softball game."
She gives him a little shove on the shoulder, "You dummy, I'm sayin that this is the bottom of the ninth!"
"It is, isn't it. I'm at the plate, Chris is on the mound. He's the one in control, but I'm the one with the bat...I'm the one who can turn this whole thing around in a heartbeat. One swing of that bat, and I'm the EWA Champion. I've got the power to make this whole thing different. I'm going out there, one last match, and I'm gonna swing for the fences. Chris Sharpe is done for!"
"Damn right!" he said, a gleam in his eye. He stood and picked Kristen up off the couch. "I could use some inspiration, though," he said, with a wink.
"You're awful!" she replied, "I like that."
He carried her upstairs...no, you're not going with them.
Later that day Michaels arrived at the gym with a purpose. He strode through the front doors to the desk.
"Good afternoon, Steve!" said Stacy, the well-built and overly-perky attendant.
"Hey, Stace, Brian here yet?" Michaels said, trying not to stare at her chest.
"Not yet, you've got the place to yourself for now."
"Excellent, I appreciate you guys doin this for me."
"Well, you have been one of our best customers since before I was born," she said with a chuckle.
"Oh shut up, I'm not that old and you're not that young! And if y'are that young, I should probably be in jail."
She shot him a look and said, "That's enough outta you, old man. You better get to work."
"Yeah yeahhh..." he trailed off, and stepped into the main workout room, which had been converted for his use. The weight machines had all been moved to the perimeter, and a wrestling ring had been constructed in the center. He started his warm-up, but stopped when he heard the door behind him open. He turned and smiled as Brian Williams crossed the floor to him.
"Whuttup, shithead?" Williams said.
"Not much, fuckface."
"You ready for this? I'm kickin your ass today!"
"Stop lyin, you couldn't kick my ass when we were both in our prime!"
"Yeah, you can say that only cause we never had to fight each other!"
"Yeah yeahh...keep tellin yourself that."
"You better be ready for Chris, though, man. One wrong move and you'll be on the mat!"
"I know that, why do you think I called you?"
"I just figured you were tryin to relive your 'good ole days.'"
"Yeah yeah. I've definitely got some work to do if I want to even stand a chance against him. But you're here, these machines are here, and if I can get back into fighting shape in the next week, I'm good to go. Wrestling's in my blood, it's not the technique I'm afraid of losing, it's the ability."
"Well, let's get to work, then!"
The two men climbed in the ring and sparred for a while, Michaels going through his repertoire. The first round of sparring ended about ten minutes in after Steve took Brian off the top rope with a samoan drop.
"Ohhhhhh shit, time out!" Williams exclaimed once Michaels returned to his feet.
"Yeah, you just knocked the wind out of me, gimme a minute. Dude, trust me, you still got the ability," he said, between wheezes.
"Well, I'm glad you think so. I still feel really slow, though. If I'm gonna make any kind of impact in my finale I'm gonna need to be agile, it is a ladder match after all."
"As agile as a six and a half foot tall, 250 pound guy can be. Like an agile rhino."
Michaels pushed at Williams' head with his boot, "Such a jerk, sometimes."
"What, it's my nature! Besides, are we here to chat or here to work?"
Brian got to his feet and the two faced off once again. The second round lasted another twenty minutes, until Steve got his opponent to tap out to the Sharpshooter.
"Ha, is that all you got? I thought you could kick my ass any day!"
"Shut up, old man!" Brian said with a groan.
Michaels stepped out of the ring and pulled a bottle of Poland Spring out of his bag. "So you think I got a chance?"
"That depends, how fast can you climb a ladder?"
"Mm, good point. Though if I can knock him out, it won't matter how fast I am. I've got to be ready for one of the most difficult matches of my life. This is gonna be a harder fight than that time Exodus kicked the shit out of me at Burning Winter 2. Shit, this is gonna be a harder match than when The Sniper kicked my ass in the HWF. Wow, is it bad that the first two matches I can think of as examples for tough are two matches I lost?"
"Seems kinda bad...looks like you have a track record in tough matches. Going gets tough you fold faster than a cheap card table..."
"Yeah, well not this time. I am gonna walk to that ring on June 3rd ready for anything. Chris is gonna be on top of his game, I'm gonna be on top of mine. The ONLY thing that might put me at an advantage in this match is the fact that this will be his second match of the night. Other than that, I'm the underdog. I've been out of the ring, and out of the business for over a year, and I've got to work that off. I'm gonna make sure this is a retirement match for the ages. Everyone is gonna be talking about this at work on Monday morning. Standing around the water cooler in their offices saying, 'Shit, did you guys see that ladder match last night? Steve Michaels went to TOWN on Sharpe! And him walkin outta that arena, EWA Title over his shoulder, waving to the crowd for one last time...awesome, man, simply awesome.' I can't let my people down!"
"You don't have people!"
"Shut up, I'm on a roll. Chris knows that I have the utmost respect for him, he knows that I'm goin' all out when I step in that ring, and he knows that I'm lookin for a retirement victory. There is no way in HELL I'm goin out on a loss. The last time I fought I lost, and that was my first retirement...it's not happening again. I will not allow it. Sharpe's in for the fight of his life, and he knows it, I'm sure. And if he's not scared of me, dammit, I'm not fuckin scared of him. This is gonna be a battle for the ages. Y'know, earlier today, I was scared as shit...I was actually regretting my decision, but now...hell no...it's on, now. It's the bottom of the ninth, game seven of the World Series, and I'm knockin one out of the park."
"Oh, god, a baseball cliche?"
"I...what? Shit, I had somethin goin' there!"
"I know, dude, but a baseball cliche? What next, 'You can take the dog out of the fight, but you can't take the fight out of the dog?' It's been done, man..."
"Ahhh, whatever. Let's go..."
"Ahh, don't get all pissy now! You're the one who got all cliched!" Williams said, climbing out of the ring and picking up his bag.
"Shaddup!" Michaels replied, grabbing his bag and making his way to the shower room.
"I'm still invited over for dinner, right?" Williams said, following.
Steve Michaels and Brian Williams walked through the mall. Steve window shopped for a while, while Brian followed, looking extremely bored.
"Why are we here, again?" Brian asked with a sigh.
"Kris' birthday is coming up, I gotta find something nice to get her!"
"What, nice, you've only known her for a couple months!"
"Gee...I wonder why you're still single..." Michaels said, with a glare.
The two wandered around for a good twenty minutes, before Michaels stopped, a thoughtful look crossing his face.
"Y'know, it's weird, a year and a half ago I woulda been mobbed with people if I'd gone out like this, and now look at me. No one even knows who I am."
The two continued to walk around, the general public oblivious to the former celebrity in their midst. Until about fifteen minutes later, when a young gentleman about 20 years of age tapped Michaels on the shoulder.
"Yes?" he said, turning around.
"Are you...you used to be that wrestler guy!"
"Well, I still am that wrestler guy, I just don't wrestle any more."
"Cool...you think you'll ever fight again?"
"Well, y'know, funny you asked me that. I'm actually wrestling in a one-night-only FsW special on pay per view next week, twenty bucks and you get a free t-shirt!"
"Man...I might have to check that out! Who are you fighting?"
"Ohhhh MAN! That's gonna be Awesome! I'll buy it for sure, he's gonna kick your ass, man!"
"Uhm...yeah...I'm...I'm gonna go this way now..." Michaels said, quickly walking away from the "fan".
Brian started laughing, "Ohhh MAN!" he said, imitating the young man, "Dude, I think you just got smoked!"
"Yeah, just wait til Friday when I prove him wrong. It is going to be a privilege and a joy to climb that ladder and grab that title belt. This'll be, like, four years of unanswered questions, answered in one match. Who really is the best, Michaels or Sharpe...who really is the true, deserving EWA Champion? It all comes down to this!"
"Y'know, I never should have been surprised when I heard you'd become a game show host..." Brian offered with a shake of his head.
Two hours later the two boys were back at Michaels' home. Brian and Kris sat in the living room watching television, while Michaels slaved over a hot stove cooking dinner.
During a commercial break Brian turned to Kris, "Y'think he can do it?"
"Do YOU think he can do it?" Kris replied, anxiously.
"Y'know...if you'd asked me that two weeks ago, I woulda said no, but now...now that we've stepped in the ring, and we've been training, and he's kicked my ass repeatedly for a week...I think he can do it."
"You have no idea how happy I am to hear you say that..." she said, a look of relief crossing her face.
"Trust me, your boy's gonna do fine." he said with a smile.
"We're back here with Jim Walker, he just got the $16,000 question correct, and he's going for $32,000..." came from the tv, as the two turned back to watch.
After dinner, and after Brian and Kris had gone home, Steve sat, alone, in his kitchen. PSP in one hand, cup of coffee in the other. He was watching some movie, but, really, wasn't paying attention.
"It's real funny," he said, after a moment of reflection, "being recognized in the mall today, that was such a rush. Shit, nobody watches cable access, so nobody recognizes me from my show anyway. But when I was fighting, when I was stepping in the ring on a weekly basis, as a wrestler or a co-president, I got recognized everywhere. It's a shock, really, how fleeting fame is once you lose it. When I was wrestling I never imagined there'd be a day when I wouldn't get mobbed by people when I was going about my daily business...but now...now that that's gone. It feels good to have it back."
He stood, placed his PSP on the table and walked upstairs, entering the spare bedroom he used as a Trophy Room, of sorts. He stood in the middle of the room, his eyes running over the wall-sized display case he'd built to hold his belts and other important "souvenirs" he'd picked up along the way. The GWA title belts, the SCWF title belts, the first-ever FsW World Title. The ever-present briefcase he carried around as HWF Co-President, a scorched piece of the ring mat from when Exodus had set the ring ablaze at Burning Winter 2. These were all reminders of a time long since past, a time when he used to be somebody. He laid on the floor and stared up at the ceiling.
"Now who am I? A nobody...a memory from people's childhoods. I'm 'That Wrestler Guy' or 'That guy who used to fight.' I'm a memory...and yet, I'm still here. I'm making that one last run...that one last effort, that final gasp. This is it, folks...this is what it's all come down to. A Ladder Match in a fed that doesn't really exist, for a title from another fed that doesn't really exist. It's almost fitting, really...if you think about it...a guy, whose accomplishments have been lost to the short-attention-span culture, fighting for a non-existent title in a non-existent federation. This whole thing IS the proverbial brass ring. And if I'm gonna get it, if I'm finally gonna reach that last plateau...I'm gonna have to fight like I've never fought before. This isn't 'Win or Go Home'...this is 'Win...or Die'. If I lose this match what do I become...another footnote in wrestling history. Sharpe will be remembered, the victor at the last-ever FsW show...I'll be the unnamed opponent...the loser...the other guy. Well dammit, I'm not going to let that happen...I'm not going to go down, blaze of glory or not. That title is mine, and mine alone. I could have beat him back then, I can beat him this Friday. Sharpe's time is drawing nigh...I hope he can live with himself after giving up that which he's yearned for for so long. This isn't 'just another match', it never has been. This is about pride, honor, respect, and legacy. My legacy will not be tarnished at the hands of the One Man Army, the American War Machine, Christopher Sharpe, my legacy will be forged in the leather and gold of that EWA World Title belt. And I wouldn't have it any other way."
He closed his eyes, and drifted off to sleep.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!
Michaels reached to his left to shut off that damned alarm clock...and found nothing but carpet. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes and propped himself up on his elbows. He rubbed his eyes, and ran his fingers over the nasty case of carpet face that had imprinted itself on his cheek and temple. He stood and crossed the hall to the master bedroom, the alarm clock screeching until he finally flipped the switch to turn it off.
"Jeezus christ," he muttered to no one in particular. He stretched his arms toward the ceiling, then bent over and touched his toes. He looked at the clock, then at his bed, then back to the clock.
"I need a nap..."
Huh, I didn't realize there was a text limit to LJ entries...weird