Bleeding from cutting open his own forehead and from three spots on his back (he had no idea how that happened), the wrestler tried to straighten his leg and grimaced in intense pain. He couldn’t tell if something was strained or pulled or broken, all he knew is that he had to get up and finish the match in about thirty seconds. He had no idea how he was going to stand or how he was going to see with all of his blood gushing into his eyes, all he knew was that he was about to do it somehow. He shouldn’t have agreed to this match, to this stupid match in which he killed himself and ruined his body for at least the next two years.
He only had two years left, at the most. He shouldn’t have taken out that loan. He shouldn’t have bought his wife that house with the money from that loan. He should have invested it into the business. Even if he had, the cheap rip off of Yugi-oh he backed would have gone into the toilet anyway. He was three hundred thousand dollars in debt. He looked down at his son, enthralled by the blood and the violence and the villains and heroes, and the businessman wondered just what was going to happen to his son when the collectors came. The businessman would go to jail, their home would be sold, his son would be he had two more years at the most. The businessman felt sick. The businessman felt hurt.
Even if he was hurt, the wrestler’s wife saw this as an opportunity. The wrestler insisted that he would never be so badly hurt that he couldn’t play with his unborn child when he got older. The pregnant wife would never let the wrestler forget what happened tonight throughout his rehab. She would give him an ultimatum, that being he was out of wrestling in two years or she would leave him. The wrestler’s wife knew she had to do this, and she also knew she’d probably be a single mother in two years.
By itself, alone in a junkyard, covered by other garbage. That’s where it would be in two years after the now badly damaged chair had been brutally destroyed on the wrestler’s skull.
The other wrestler picked up the now junked chair and threw it out of the ring as he stalled. He watched the wreckage of the chair fall to the ground and saw himself in two years. He was 46. The Flair’s and Hogan’s could go into their 60’s because they were who they were, but the other wrestler didn’t have the name they did. He wasn’t getting old, he was old. He wasn’t getting slower, he was slow and he was getting even slower. In two years he would be as useful as that chair he had thrown out of the ring. He wanted the wrestler to shrug off the injury and stand up now. He needed to hit something.
He couldn’t do this anymore. As he looked at the anger in the other wrestler’s eyes, he realized just how insane these people really were. It looked like the wrestler had torn something in his leg, was gushing blood from his face, and the other wrestler looked like he was going to kill him for some reason. The ref was ready to become a road agent or a ring crew boy, ANYTHING other than this. The ref saw all of the blood and wanted to puke. His father would disown him if he was anything other than a referee, but the ref wasn’t cut out for this. He just needed to wait two years for his father to retire, and then he would become a banker or a lawyer or an architect or ANYTHING OTHER THAN THIS!
HOW COULD HE DO THIS? How could he only be in his second year and be so much better than his old man? The head referee watched with joy and pride as his son refereed the match of the year with grace and elegance. The head referee watched as his son pushed the other wrestler into the corner and started to yell at him to stall for time. It did not look out of place in the slightest, and the head referee brimmed with pride. In two years he could now retire, knowing that the family name would remain synonymous with refereeing.
The boss watched the ref doing a competent job and wondered about the health of the wrestler. They had most of the next three months booked around him, and if he was injured then the boss was going to have to come up with a completely new storyline. The boss had seen that look on the face of the wrestler many times before. He now had no idea who would be the champion in two years. All he knew for sure was that if the ratings didn’t doubled in two years time, most of the people he was looking at wouldn’t have a job. The first to go would be the assistant booker who came up with this ridiculous match that killed their number one prospect.
In two years, he’d be pretty much running wrestling. Matches like these (while not exactly a new idea) had been his suggestion as of late. Ratings were going up thanks to the extreme violence, the bloodletting. Soon he’d garner more power with the old man, and then the assistant booker would be able to go through with his plan of turning the wrestling federation into a recreation of WWII. It was going to be awesome.
It was going to be so awesome that he almost didn’t mind the lack of psychology in the match. This was the smark’s thesis statement for his new book. When enjoyment at any cost for the fans becomes more important than the livelihood of the wrestlers in the ring, careers end quicker. In two years, the smark was going to one of the most revered authors in wrestling no, in the world thanks to this book. This wasn’t a wrestling book he was writing. It was a book about what happens when a mob’s passion for a product causes the product to stagnate and become volatile for those who work for the product or something like that. That was awful. He’d come up with something better when he got home.
When he got home, he’d rest his feet. Until then, the beer vendor kept doing what he’d done for the past two years and would do for the next two years. He sold beer.
The non-fan wanted a beer. He wanted a stiff drink. He wanted some coke. He wanted anything to distract him from this shit, and it was shit. How could these inbred hillbilly idiots enjoy this shit? Those guys were just beating the shit out of each other. He could see that in a bar on any given night. His smark friend had called this “art at times.Ã¢â‚¬Â Maybe art for homosexuals. The non-fan swore to God that if he saw one wrestler put his head between the legs of another wrestler, he’d go nuts. If this is what America loved, he almost wanted to run to Mexico. In two years he’d be on a beach with a pretty senorita snorting a line off his dick and wrestling wouldn’t exist. They couldn’t have wrestling in Mexico.
The Mexican wrestler didn’t understand a word the Japanese wrestler was saying to him, very slowly, about the match. The Mexican wrestler began to think about his fans back home who gave him standing ovations before and after every match. Here, two guys had to end their career with a parade of real violence in order to get the fans to respond. What the hell happened to wrestling being fake? What happened to wrestling being art? What happened to wrestling being fun? He’d keep his promise to his brother/agent and remain in America for two more years, but then he was going home. In two years, he’d be home.
The wrestler heard the ref ask him if he was ready to take it home. The wrestler nodded and stood up grimacing in pain, closing his eyes to prevent more blood from flowing into them. The businessman grimaced and closed his eyes as he pictured his future as a jail house bitch. The wrestler’s wife had a good idea of what was coming and closed her eyes. The chair could not see anything. The other wrestler prepared to hit the wrestler with his big kick as hard as he could, revved up and closed his eyes. The ref knew blood would splatter everywhere and closed his eyes. The head referee saw the cowardice in his son and briefly shut his eyes in disappointment. The boss looked at the assistant booker’s huge grin and closed his eyes in disgust. The assistant booker saw the boss with his eyes closed for some reason so he did it himself, thinking the boss might want to show respect for the injured wrestler or some crap like that. The smark closed his eyes and pictured the cover of his book, the other wrestler about to kick the wrestler in the face. The beer vendor saw a really fat chick in a tank top and closed his eyes for a moment. The non-fan closed his eyes and offered a silent prayer to God for this to be over soon. The Mexican wrestler turned to the Japanese wrestler, close his eyes, shrugged his shoulders and shook his head.
They began their journey two years into the future with their eyes closed.