A Wrestling Tale 10.05.01: Mr. 500

Archive

Captain Jones the Third found many things odd about the PWI 500. In the bottom corner was the price and the date, and it said it cost six bucks and was the December 2004 issue. Currently September 2004, that meant that the PWI 500 had been released way too early and was way too expensive. Captain Jones the Third didn’t know why people even bought wrestling magazines like PWI anymore. The internet wrestling scene had exploded for free and usually contained much better content than anything Stu Staks and the other 1980s dwellers could come up with. Did the WWF even give a damn about who was listed? It was stupid for Captain Jones the Third to think that even if he had cracked the top 500 that the WWF would give him a call based on that. There was no reason for Captain Jones to open up that magazine. There was really no reason for Captain Jones the Third to pay six dollars to see a list filled with people he’d never work with who he could probably outclass in the ring.

“That’s five ninety five,” said the clerk.

Captain Jones the Third reached into his pocket and pulled out a ten dollar bill while every fiber of his being told him to at least check to see if he was included before buying the expensive rag. The clerk took the ten dollar bill and gave the Captain four dollar bills and a nickel. Captain Jones the Third took the money and the magazine and left the newsstand.

The Captain started to open the magazine while walking home, but then decided he didn’t want to bump into anything.

The Captain reached his apartment/garage and threw the magazine into his wastebasket. It was a stupid purchase. It was stupid to type up the bio and send it in to PWI, it was stupid to ask Jimmy Franelli to type up a recommendation for him and send it to PWI, and it was incredibly stupid to buy the crappy magazine for six dollars. He couldn’t even afford his subscription to Metzler’s rag anymore, but he bought this much less important piece of shit. Captain Jones the Third walked out of his apartment/garage and slammed the door down. He was upset. Captain Jones the Third needed a smoke. Captain Jones the Third knocked on his landlord’s door.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me mom.”

“Thomas, you don’t have to knock.”

“I know. I just wanted to make sure you were decent.”

“Everybody’s decent honey. Come on in.”

Captain Jones the Third entered his landlord’s house and was greeted with a kiss on the cheek. The Captain kissed his landlord back and asked her for a smoke. She gladly gave the Captain one. The Captain asked for a light and she gladly gave him her matches. His landlord his mother offered to have a smoke with Thomas. They went out on the porch and lit up. They smoked in silence for a few seconds, and then Thomas’ mother saw her son’s pain.

“Honey, is something bothering you?”

“No mom. Everything is fine.”

“Are you sure? You look upset?”

“Well, I just spent six dollars on a stupid magazine.”

“Really? What magazine?”

“A wrestling magazine.”

“Oh. Didn’t I get you that subscription you asked for on Christmas?”

“Yeah. It’s a different magazine.”

“Is it a WWF magazine?”

“No, it’s just a wrestling magazine.”

“Well, why are you so upset honey? Did the magazine say something bad about you?”

“The magazine didn’t say anything bad about me. I don’t think it said anything about me. I’m not sure.”

“You’re not sure?”

“Well, I didn’t really read it.”

“Why don’t you go read it then?”

“It’s stupid. It’s stupid for me to have bought it, it’s stupid for me to even open up the damned thing. It means nothing.”

“Is there something you’re not telling me about this magazine? Is it a dirty magazine? Have you been wrestling with other men for dirty magazines?”

“Mom, why do keep asking me about this? Not only have I not been wrestling with other men for homosexual wrestling magazines, but I don’t even think they exist!”

“Your father seems to think that they exist. He told me he saw a magazine called Perverted Wrestling Illustrated. Have you posed for perverted wrestling illustrated?”

“Mom, I swear to you, there is no such thing as perverted wrestling illustrated.”

“Your father says there was a half naked man on the cover with pig tails. Pepper Parky or something.”

“Oh my God. Mom, you’re thinking about PWI. That’s pro-wrestling illustrated. That person that dad saw was Pepper Parks. He wrestles in the WWF. It’s not a gay magazine.”

“You seem really upset. Are you happy?”

Thomas stamped out his cigarette.

“I’m going inside, mom.”

“Thomas, please. Are you happy?”

“Am I happy? I wrestle five nights a week in the same crappy high school gym for a hundred bucks a week. I’m 26 and I live in my parent’s garage. I dropped out of Cornell to pursue my dream and I’m getting further and further from it every single day! I truly believe that I’m one of the best performers in the world and yet that stupid goddamned WWF doesn’t even send me return letters when I send in my tapes! I’ve been trying for six miserable years to get in to that stupid, meaningless list and I can’t even crack that! Mabel is on the list for Christ’s sake! Goddamned Mabel!”

“Mabel?”

“I don’t have a girlfriend, I don’t have a job that pays well, and all I want is to be on that stupid list so that I can say that I’ve accomplished something! I just want something that I can hang up on my wall to say that I’ve made it, even if I haven’t? Do you have any idea what it’s like to be gratified? To be singled out for doing your job well? That’s all I want. Just some gratification for giving up an Ivy League school. They wouldn’t put me on Tough Enough. They won’t watch my tapes. Maybe they’ll notice me if I’m on this list. It’s so stupid, it’s so dumb, but it’s all I have left. It’s my only chance and even they’re ignoring me!”

“Honey, what list?”

“It’s the magazine. It’s the PWI 500. They list the best wrestlers in the world.”

“And you weren’t on it?”

“I don’t know. Probably not.”

“You don’t know? But didn’t you buy the magazine?”

“Yeah. It’s in my trash can.”

“You paid six dollars for the magazine and then you threw it away? Where did you learn to waste money like that? Certainly not from your father or myself! Not you march right back to the garage and you read that magazine!”

“Mom, it’s just going to depress me. I mean, a guy with pig tails who plays a male cheerleader is going to be in their top fifty.”

“Thomas no. Captain Jones the Third, I have seen you wrestle. I don’t really understand much why people like it, but they do. They cheer for you. They love you.”

“Yeah, all fifty of them.”

“Captain Jones the Third, you are a very talented person who I believe in. I always thought you’d be a doctor or a politician, but I knew that you’d be a success. Now if this is what you want to do for the rest of your life, then you go back to that garage and you read that magazine and you find out whether or not you’re on the list! If you did make it, then I don’t really know what it means, but if you didn’t it means that you need to work even harder! We will continue to support you as long as you wish to pursue this, but you need to wish to pursue this! The first thing you’re going to have to do is grow pig tales so that you can be as successful as this other fellow.”

“Thanks mom. I’ll start growing my hair out right away.”

“Good! Now, go get that magazine!”

Captain Jones the Third stood up with purpose. He kissed his landlord on the cheek and walked back through his landlord’s house, passing by the collection of ceramic angels. Captain Jones the Third walked through his front door and headed toward the garage when he heard his phone ringing. He started to run, but then realized that he had a magazine to read before he could talk to anyone. Captain Jones the Third was on a mission. He’d let the machine pick it up. He slowed down and calmly lifted up the door and walked into his apartment/garage as the voice he kind of made out to be Jimmy Franelli’s stopped talking with an answering machine beep as punctuation. He needed to erase his messages, but he’d do that in a moment.

Captain Jones the Third lifted the magazine out of his garbage can and opened it up. Rob Van Dam was number 1 again. Kurt Angle was number 2, Jeff Hardy 3, Triple H 4. He flipped to the 400’s, resisting the Alphabetical Listing section in the back. Names like Ash Parker, Mack Truck and Majik filled the pages until he reached the 480’s. At this point Thomas threw the magazine back into the garbage. The phone had rung a few times as he had read about the Terry Knight’s and Bulldozer Benton’s of the world but the tape on the answering machine was full. Thomas walked over to the machine and pressed the erase button, erasing the message that Jimmy had left. Thomas could not help it as he sat on his bed and began to cry. The phone rang again, and Thomas just lied down. He could not bear to talk anyone. The machine beeped, and Thomas heard Jimmy’s voice.

“Jonesie, WAKE UP! It’s 12! You should be up by now! Anyway, call me when you get this! Congratulations Mr. 500! We’re going to make an announcement tonight at the show!”

Captain Jones the Third leapt from his bed in a single bound and picked up the phone just as Jimmy hung up. He grabbed the magazine from the trashcan and opened it up to where he had closed it. Two pages later, there he was. There was even a picture of him.

500 Captain Jones III (6’0″, 255, 6, NL)

6 year veteran from Delaware finally cracks PWI 500 Held the DWF championship for most of 2003 Should remove Captain from his name is he hopes to make it to the WWF Claims to be the descendant of Captain Jones, Captain Jones II and Captain Jones II.V His leapfrog into a scissors kick is devastating.

Captain Jones was still crying, but he was running around his apartment/garage crying. He lifted the door open and ran into the house where he picked up his mom and gave her a big hug. No words had to be said. He then got on the phone and called Jimmy, which was followed by more crying and running around. He then went back into his apartment/garage and ripped out the page from the magazine and tacked it to his wall. He took a few steps back and looked at his picture and his blurb. He stopped smiling. He stopped crying. He felt empty.