July 1, 2018
Rose City Academy
The Academy is supposed to be closed today, but inside Jansen Myrrh is sitting on the ring apron as she tries to reflect on her match the night before. Another day. Another loss. It seems to be match after match and loss after loss. She’s only won a single match in her career and that was against her friend Natalie and now she’s starting to wonder if she really won that match, especially after watching Natalie in the ring with someone with more experience. It wouldn’t surprise her if Natalie gave her the match.
All in all, Jansen if feeling very discouraged. At least she doesn’t have to fly anywhere as Imperial Wrestling will be in Portland tomorrow night. She is in a triple threat match against a couple of very talented women, Kate Steele and Ana Luciana.
And to top it all off, she’s gotten herself into some sort of crazy tag team tournament with a guy she’s never met. What the hell was she thinking?
She doesn’t hear the door open, but she does see the very large shadow casting into the gym as someone’s body takes up the entire doorway and darken the ring as she slides off the apron. She certainly wasn’t expecting anyone.
She swallowed as she saw the mountain of a man walking towards her. He was dressed decently but it wasn’t until he got closer to her that she realized who he was.
His very large arm reached out to her as he offers his mitt-sized hand. She is starting to regret not locking the door behind her. She hesitantly reaches out her hand and shakes it.
The man before her has to be at least four times her size. She finds her voice after a brief moment, “Jansen. Jansen Myrrh.”
“Look, I came by last night and saw the show. You did pretty good. Sorry, you lost. How long you been doing this?” He slowly walks over and leans against the ring, knowing full well that none of these chairs would hold his weight.
Jansen moved back over and hopped up onto the apron next to him. He seemed nice enough. Hopefully, he’s not just a nice serial killer.
“Just a couple of months. I’ve had maybe 5 matches.”
“How many times have you won?”
The bigger guy grins, “Well, one in five matches is more than I won in my first five matches so don’t let it get you down. If we catch a lucky break in the bracket, maybe we can add a few more. I heard you got yourself a triple threat match tomorrow night.”
She nods her head, “I’m starting to worry this isn’t for me.”
Banter nods his head, “We’ve all been there, but let me ask you this. What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up?”
“And the last thing you think about when you go to bed?”
“Then this business is for you. You’ve got it in your blood now and it’ll be hard to shake it. You just gotta get better.”
Jansen thinks on this for a moment before she asks, “You watched my match last night. What am I doing wrong?”
He knows she’s serious. He can also tell she wants the hard truth. “Look, not going to lie. I’m not a good guy when I get in that ring. I’ve got killer instinct when I get in that ring. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a very large man. I try to get in and get out as quickly as I can. So, I do what I gotta do. If I gotta cheat, then I cheat.”
Jansen lets out a sigh.”What if I don’t want to cheat?”
He lets out a very loud laugh. “I never said you had to cheat. What I’m trying to say is that you need to have killer instinct. You don’t think I checked you out before I volunteered you to be my tag team partner? Look, you may not know this but you have something inside you that is dying to get out. You want to succeed, then you need to stop worrying about being nice. It’s all swell going out and visiting dog and cat rescues and posting them cute pictures and whatnot, but when you get in the ring you have to be all business. You need to become intense and you need to do whatever it takes to win.”
Jansen leans back against the ropes, “Why did you pick me?”
Banter just laughs, “Not going to lie. I was just glancing through my Twitter feed and you came up and so there it was. I honestly figured you’d say no, but you didn’t and now you’re stick with me, kid. We’re heading to Zanzibar.”
“I’m so going to die. I don’t even know what kind of tournament this is. What if they want us to do something crazy?”
Banter pushes away from the ring apron and turns to face the girl, “Don’t worry about it. If you want, we’ll work on some stuff together and maybe I can put some fire into you. Go out there tomorrow and take those two peons and tie them up and get yourself another win. I’ll be out there watching.”
“Thanks. Maybe that’s what I need. What about you? Don’t you have some matches this week?”
“Of course, I do,” Paul laughs as he rubs his hands together, “By the time I see you again, I’ll be the IWS World Heavyweight Champion.”
Jansen blinks and leans closer, “How can you be so sure?”
Paul slams a hand on the apron, causing Jansen to jump. “Because it’s a battle royal and I love battle royals! Do you know how hard it is to throw a 450 pound man out of the ring? Damn near impossible. There ain’t none of those 9 folks who can pick me up and throw me out, especially that no-account JT Saint. I’m gonna prop him up in the corner and then go SPLAT!”
As he’s going on about it, she’s watching him and she can tell how much he loves the sport. She loves it too, but maybe she needs that type of enthusiasm about wrestling, the same as Paul Banter.
“Look, kid. I’ll come by tomorrow and give you a few pointers if you want before your match and then we need to work on some tag team strategy for that tournament.”
She finally slides off the ring apron and smiles, “Thanks. I’d appreciate it. You’ll look good with a championship belt around your waist.”
That comment causes Paul to laugh out loud, “I haven’t been able to wear a belt around my waist in my life, but I appreciate your words, kid. You go out there and you do well. I’ll be rooting for ya.”
With that the two leave the gym together and go their separate ways.