You can only run from your past for so long.
If you haven’t read Mr. Rodriguez Helped, go to the archives and read it now. Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what other Wrestling Tale is involved in this story. Enjoy.
RFWF PRESS RELEASE FOR THEIR FIRST PAY PER VIEW, FEAR!
The RFWF is proud to present our first PAY PER VIEW, FEAR! on September 24. The show will feature the performers who the most prolific Internet journalists have been raving about! The main event, a STEEL CAGE RFWF WORLD TITLE MATCH between Champion ANDREW TURROW and challenger FRANK UNITAS promises to be an exciting affair. In addition, you will see the following matches:
RFWF MEXICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Champion Jamaal Ingel vs. Ficky Duck
RFWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Champions Ben and Ober vs. The Cat Eaters
RFWF CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Champion Mike Hunt vs. Ooky Cookie
AND MANY MORE MATCHES YET TO BE ANNOUNCED! In addition, you will see the match the whole world has been waiting for. A match the WWF has been afraid to touch with a twelve foot pole! Four years ago, a match in a high school gym in Wisconsin between Zach Lipsky and Greg Stemkowski ended in a no decision when Greg Stemkowski went INSANE and almost killed Zach Lipsky! Wrestling was once again negatively thrust into the national spotlight as a sexual scandal of the kind never before seen erupted from this incident! Greg Stemkowski and Carlos Rodriguez were both sentenced to time in prison, but only one made it out alive! Now a free man, Greg Stemkowski owns a gym in Wisconsin. He never considered a return to the ring UNTIL NOW! RFWF SUPERSTAR ZACH LIPSKY ISSUED A CHALLENGE, AND GREG STEMKOWSKI HAS ACCEPTED! ONE NIGHT! SEPTEMBER 24th! ALL TICKETS HAVE BEEN SOLD OUT, SO YOU CAN ONLY SEE IT ON PAY PER VIEW! STEMKOWSKI VS. LIPSKY 2! SEE WHAT ALL THE TALK IS ABOUT! SEPTEMBER 24th AT THE NASSAU COLESIUM
Greg read the press release one more time. Yep. He killed Mr. Rodriguez! Sure, he had to break back into prison since Mr. Rodriguez had been killed 6 months after his release, but it had been him. Why not? What difference did it make if they believed he killed the rapist? It would get him some heat. A legit killer instead of a not guilty of attempted murderer. So yeah, Greg Stemkowski killed Mr. Rodriguez. It was him, and he’d do it again if he could!
The strangest thing had happened in prison when Mr. Rodriguez was brought in. Greg had all of these nasty plans ready for when the fat asshole plopped himself down on his cell block. He was going to make Mr. Rodriguez suck, beg, plead, bleed, scream, cry, and then die. Greg will never forget the first time he saw Mr. Rodriguez in the shower. He had such fear in his eyes when he saw Greg. Sure, he was afraid of the 6 feet tall black guys who didn’t particularly care for statutory gay rapists, but that sick smile on Greg’s face filled him with terror. That and Greg’s hair. Greg had shaved his head bald when he wrestled for Mr. Rodriguez but in prison he grew his hair back. Greg had slicked his hair back like Mr. Rodriguez’s. Mr. Rodriguez knew what Greg was intending to do and began weeping as Greg approach him.
When Greg reached Mr. Rodriguez, he saw before him an overweight pathetic excuse for a human being with tears streaming down his face. Greg was a big guy and was very respected among the prisoners. He had almost killed that kid in the ring! It was frightening what he could do with only 8 punches. The other prisoners understood the Mr. Rodriguez was Greg’s and Greg’s alone. They were all excitedly watching what would happen.
Greg looked down at Mr. Rodriguez who would not look him in the eye. Mr. Rodriguez was sobbing and sounded like a pig. Sniff sniff SNORT! Sniff sniff SNORT! Greg told Mr. Rodriguez to look at him, and Mr. Rodriguez slowly raised his eyes until they were looking at Greg’s.
“I (sniff) am (sniff) so (SNORT!) sorry. I (sniff) am (sniff) so (SNORT!) sorry I (sniff) hurt you (sniff) in (SNORT!) any (sniff sniff SNORT! sniff) way.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Greg was going to be Mr. Rodriguez now. That was plan. This was Mr. Rodriguez. God, Greg did not want to be like him. He did not was to be a blubbering sicko. Greg shook his head no and leaned down very close to Mr. Rodriguez’s face. Mr. Rodriguez thought that Greg was going to kiss him, let out another SNORT!, closed his eyes and puckered his lips. Disgusted, Greg slapped him across the face. He then grabbed the now screaming and snorting Mr. Rodriguez by the hair and pulled him towards him. They were eye to eye as Greg tried to shake the feelings away. He had to hurt Mr. Rodriguez. He had to go through with his plan. He had to Greg slowly began to speak.
“You are going to suffer in here like you’ve never suffered before. You are going to be violated in every way possible. You are going to stay up nights wishing that God would just let you die, and probably before you leave here, he will. But none of it will be because of me. I’m not you. I never want to be you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Greg Stemkowski said seven more words to Mr. Rodriguez during his final five months in prison. After spending three months incarcerated, Mr. Rodriguez approached Greg and begged him for help. He apologized profusely for all of his past sins and told Greg that he was now considered property of the skinheads after the blacks had traded him to them for two cartons of cigarettes. Mr. Rodriguez had found God and wanted to become a minister when he left prison. He loved Jesus with all his heart. He just needed help because those skinheads were threatening to kill him. If Greg had any love in his heart, any compassion, he’d help him.
“No love. No compassion. Not for you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
That was the last thing he said to Mr. Rodriguez before he learned that Mr. Rodriguez was dead. Greg had moved back home and gotten a job with a construction company. He had learned a good deal about plumbing while in prison but felt that he should take some classes on the outside before pursuing that line of work. He found a relatively cheap trade school where he could learn more about the craft and was six months out of prison and two weeks from graduation when he received a call from Mr. Rodriguez’s lawyer. Mr. Rodriguez was dead. Greg tried to feel happy. Then he tried to feel apathetic. Instead, he felt guilty. He felt sad and guilty and he didn’t understand why. He pushed aside those feelings and asked why he was being informed of this.
“In his will, Mr. Rodriguez left you his gym as well as the title of ownership of the Wisconsin Wrestling Scene. In order to claim Ã¢â‚¬Â
Greg arrived at the gym three days after the call from the lawyer. He had contacted Mr. Rodriguez’s brother, but his brother did not want anything to do with Greg. He believed that Greg had orchestrated his brother’s death, and while he hated his brother, he hated Greg more. He told Greg that if he ever saw him he would kill him. It didn’t matter because Mr. Rodriguez’s brother died in a motorcycle accident hours after the phone call. In his grief he had gotten drunk and crashed head on with a bus. Mr. Rodriguez had no more immediate family. There was no one for Greg to give his inheritance to. Greg unhappily accepted it with the intention to immediately sell the gym and give the Wisconsin Wrestling Scene title to the local wrestlers. A communist wrestling promotion in Wisconsin. Greg kind of liked the sound of it.
Greg unlocked the door and turned on the lights. Oh, that’s good kid. He shut his eyes and told himself he was a different person now. He was surprised to see that Mr. Rodriguez had gotten all kinds of new machines during his trial. He must have been afraid he’d be sued so he tried to get rid of all of his fluid assets by converting his money to state of the art gym equipment. Suck it just like that. He shut his eyes and told himself that Mr. Rodriguez was dead and couldn’t hurt him anymore. Yeah, I want to hear that slurping sound, you little bitch. He was dead! Dead and incinerated! Greg opened his eyes and walked into the next room. Brand new treadmills and exercise bikes greeted the former wrestler. He wasn’t a former wrestler. He was a plumber. He knew he was facing his past but he didn’t have to think about it. Come on. Come on. Lick me. Lick me. No. NO! Greg closed his eyes and told himself that he was a good person. He had been a victim and then a pathetic human being with nowhere to escape to. He was different now. Everything was different. Greg opened his eyes and walked into the locker rooms. He checked if the steam room and showers had been updated. They had. There was even a sauna now. There was a room marked Massage A. There were two massage tables and a little cabinet. Greg searched the locker room but could not find a room marked Massage B. Only two more rooms to check out. Either the office or the practice ring. Greg had not seen a wrestling ring since the incident except when he accidentally flipped on HBO and saw Ready to Rumble for fifteen seconds. Well, it was either the ring or the office, and the choice was simple. Tug on my balls, kid. Never again. Never, ever again. He exited the locker room through the back door which led to the practice ring. OH GOD! Look at that thing! How much money had Mr. Rodriguez spent on this gym? The ropes were painted silver and gold. The turnbuckles actually had the WWS logo on each of them. Greg entered a wrestling ring for the first time in about two and a half years. Greg Stemkowski couldn’t help but to run back and forth off the ring ropes a couple of times. He then practiced his bumps. He had some ring rust, but he could still bump like nobodies business. Poor Zach. No. Zach wasn’t poor. Zach was doing well and fine. He had heeled and the Real Fucking Wrestling Federation had offered him a job because of what had happened. When he got out of prison, Greg had sent Zach a letter of apology. There had been no response. Greg considered the issue closed. Still, while he had never seen a Zach Lipsky match, he was hearing that Zach was actually progressing nicely. The kid was only 18 years old and had escaped Wisconsin, albeit not without his scars. Greg heard the screams of the crowd and felt Zach’s pain as Greg destroyed his face in front of the sixty somewhat people who quickly left the gym in disgust. Greg got out of the ring. He couldn’t be in there anymore. Only one last place to check out.
If it wasn’t him, it would be okay. Greg was now an observer, an outsider inside the lair of the beast. The outsider entered Mr. Rodriguez’s office and Greg knew this plan would not work. It all came back to him in such a rush that Greg had to bend over and vomit on the floor.
“Oh, that’s good kid. Suck it just like that. Yeah, I want to hear that slurping sound, you little bitch. Come on. Come on. Lick me. Tug on my balls, kid. SLURRRRRP! I love that sound, kid. You’ve got a good mouth for this Greg. You’re going to be the next Rick Rude. SUCK ME! SUCK ME! Stop crying. STOP CRYING, YOU BITCH! SUCK ME! STOP CRYING!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Greg wiped the vomit away from the edges of his mouth when he heard a voice from behind him.
“It all looks different now, doesn’t it? Well, it looks different except for the past. I can’t change the past, I’m sorry. I would if I could but I can’t so I won’t. I know you have all kinds of questions for me. Why you? Why’d I give the gym to you? Because you were my best friend. You were the worker who stood by me the longest. I admit that I was sick, I had problems. Nobody wanted to deal them. Nobody ever did until you went nuts. You think that I took advantage of you, that you were a victim. I’d agree that I took advantage of you, but you weren’t a victim. You were a whore for fame, which meant that you were a whore for me. When you stopped I stopped giving you wins, but I didn’t fire you. You always had that choice to stop. You had the choice whether or not to begin. Then you had a choice to leave. You made your choices, and it haunts you everyday. It doesn’t haunt you because you gave me head. It haunts you because you gave me head and never made it big. If you had made it big you could have let me done you up the ass and you would have felt justified. Yet, you never left me. My brother left me, my parents died, but you never left me and I never left you. That’s why you couldn’t hurt me in prison. That’s why you felt guilty and sad when I passed away. I was your best friend and you were mine. Don’t become a plumber. You were born for this business. You love this business. Run the WWS the right way. Run it like I never did. Bring it to prominence. While many of the workers fear you, they also respect you as being the only one to have the balls to stand up to me. They’ll work for you. I have faith that they will. I destroyed the desk and my chair out of fear that there may have been traces of semen on them. It’s all brand new, even the computer. Well, it’s about a year and a few months old, but it’s never been used. I never sat in that chair. I never sat at that desk. You have a chance to make things right here. I won’t beg you to, but I’ll give you the advice to do it for yourself. I believe you’d make a hell of a teacher.Ã¢â‚¬Â
There was silence. Greg did not look around. He knew it was all in his head and there was nothing to see. He got up to find the utility closet. The vomit needed to be cleaned up.
Two years later and the vomit still needed to be cleaned up. Greg had puked after the phone call. The phone rang twice and Greg had to run into his office to get it. He was working with a prodigy of his named Brendan. This kid was good, really good, and usually he wouldn’t interrupt lesson but he was waiting for a call from Allison. He promised her he’d pick her parents up from the airport, but it had rained in Florida and he needed to know if the flight was cancelled. The phone rang once more and Greg picked it up and said, “Allison, what’s up?Ã¢â‚¬Â
There was silence. “Hello? Allison?Ã¢â‚¬Â
“Thiss issn’t Allisson.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Once again there was silence. While Greg had started watching the WWE again to pick up the newest trends in wrestling he could not bare to turn on the RFWF. It was on at two in the morning anyway. So while he had not heard the voice in four years it was impossible to misread. He had a lisp. It was the lisp that Greg had given him.
“Mr. Lipsky. Zach. Hello.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“Hello Greg. How are you?Ã¢â‚¬Â Zach’s voice sounded dead. He was obviously not happy about making this phone call.
“I’m fine. I’m great, actually. I’m getting married in December.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“That’ss good to hear.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“How are you?Ã¢â‚¬Â
“Oh, I’ve been better. How’d you like to make ten thoussand dollarss? I’ll ssave you the awkward pause. The RFWF is having our firsst Pay Per View next month. They want you to wresstle me in one match. They don’t want to hire you permanently. One match, ten thoussand dollarss. Ã¢â‚¬Â
Greg stared at the door to the office. Outside of that door was Brendan who he should have been training Brendan at that moment. He should not have been even considering wrestling on a Pay Per View against the person who haunted his thoughts every time he saw a wrestling ring. Still, he needed the money. He was going to be married in December and he needed the money so badly. But he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t get into a ring with Zach. He was afraid. He was so afraid.
Zach waited a few moments for the answer that was surely going to be no. When it didn’t come, Zach pulled out the trump card. “I haven’t forgiven you Greg. I think about what you did to me every ssingle day. Every time I hear my own voice I know it wass you who did thiss to me. If you do thiss for me all will be forgiven. You need to do me thiss one favor. I know you sstill think about me. I know you feel badly. Thiss will end it all. Do it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Greg said yes and Zach told him a representative of the RFWF would call him up and give him the details. Zach then hung up the phone and looked at Alan Vainrib. Alan clapped his hands together and stood up and gave Zach a friendly hug. Alan hugged everybody. He never felt them up or anything. It wasn’t like with Mr. Rodriguez. Still, it brought back some memories. Zach kind of pushed him away and sat down. Alan nodded his head. He wanted to be known as the promoter who cared, but sometimes the hugs were unnecessary. He sat back down at his desk and looked at Zach, waiting for Zach’s outburst. It came much calmer then Alan had expected.
“Have I ever asked you for anything?Ã¢â‚¬Â
“No, you haven’t.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“Then why are you making me call up Greg? Why are you making me keep that stupid lisp on television? It lasted two years! I’m over it! This is the one thing in the world that I do not want to do! He’s nuts! The man is nuts and you want me to get back into the ring with him! I am getting back in the ring with him! I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I got him. Now, what do you want to do with the match?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Alan ran his hands through his hair. If convincing Zach to call up Greg had been difficult, this was going to be impossible. “You want the plan up straight, right?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Zach had expected for Alan to tell him right away that Zach was going to go over. A look of rage filled Zach’s eyes. “You want him to beat me?Ã¢â‚¬Â
“Yes, but we’re going to give you 20 minutes.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“You want to put him over me?Ã¢â‚¬Â
“You’ll lose, but it’s going to be a showcase for you! You’ve improved so much since your first match. It’s going to tell a story.Ã¢â‚¬Â Alan paused for a moment as it appeared that Zach was about to spontaneously combust. The vein in Zach’s forehead was almost as far out of his head as his nose. Alan went on. “We have that video tape of the first match. Before you go on, we’re going to show it to the audience. Your match is going to go back and forth, I’m sure you two can work it out. Then, suddenly YOU are going to snap. You’ll begin pounding on him and we’ll convince him to blade. Suddenly, before you do any real damage, you’ll stop and go to the other corner. Instead of beating the hell out of Greg, you’ll beat the hell out of the turnbuckle. Jeff and Rick will be talking about how you could have done to him what he did to you, but you’re the better man. You’ll stop pounding on the turnbuckle, kind of sigh, and he’ll sneak up behind you and
“And you’ll roll him up for the win.Ã¢â‚¬Â Alan Vainrib paused and took a bite out of his hamburger. He was waiting for Greg to smile at him. He’d been waiting for Greg to smile at him since he picked him up at JFK airport five hours ago. Alan told a joke on the way to the hotel about a dead cat being found and a guy making faces to show what the cat looked like before the cat died. It was an old joke, Greg must have heard it before. Greg shrugged his shoulders. The man didn’t even smile when Alan showed him the check. Greg’s emotions ranged from seemingly bored to apprehensive to pained. Alan expected Greg to smile when he found out he was going to win. Greg looked confused.
“I don’t get it. Why am I going over Zach?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Alan took another bite out of his hamburger. He chewed slowly, swallowed and took a sip of water. “It doesn’t matter who wins. Zach will come out of the match as a huge face. I mean, he’s big now, but he’s only big cause he’s the pedophiled lisping kid. He’s only big because of what you did. He will be in a position to beat you, but he’ll pass on it because he’s a human being.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“Like I wasn’t.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“I’m not saying that! Nobody knows what was going through your head when it happened. Nobody is here to judge you. You asked me a question, and I’m answering it. It’s better for Zach to lose like that then to beat you. Besides, you get a pay per view main event win. Isn’t that Ã¢â‚¬Â
Greg stood up, slamming his hands on the table as he did. Greg’s water glass fell off of the table onto an empty chair, the chair Zach was supposed to be sitting in. The glass shattered.
“YOU THINK I Ã¢â‚¬Â People in the diner were staring. Alan looked petrified. Maybe Zach was right. Maybe Greg was unstable. Maybe Greg would snap again, killing Zach this time. Maybe Greg would try, but Zach would kill him. A waitress came over to clean up the glass. Greg wiped his brow and sat back down. He spoke as calmly as his emotions allowed him to.
“You think I care about winning or losing? You think I want the victory? I don’t even want to be a wrestler. I’m a trainer. I’m a teacher. I’m here for the money, but more then that I’m here for Zach’s forgiveness. I don’t think beating him is a proper apology. That kid has a goddamned lisp for the I don’t think beating him is a proper apology.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Alan took a nervous sip of water and turned his head as the waitress silently left as silently as she’d arrived. Alan then took out a twenty dollar bill and placed it on the table. Alan rose and Greg spoke apologetically.
“I’m sorry. Please, sit down.Ã¢â‚¬Â Greg looked beyond Alan and Greg’s face dropped.
“That’s okay. I’ll see you in tomorrow at our gym so you can work out some spots. I think you two have some things to talk about. Nice to meet you, Greg.Ã¢â‚¬Â Alan turned around and had a quiet conversation with the man behind him, patted the man on the shoulder and left. Zach stared at Greg, who remained seated. Greg’s eyes met Zach’s, and then Greg looked away.
To be continued.