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Jonathan

Rise Of The King [Reboot]

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”You’re just a skinny kid from New York, what’s so special about you?” That’s the response I got two years ago when I used up most of my summer trying to be recognized by WWE after June and July were me trying to be the best I could at the Harley Race Wrestling Academy. When I tried out for NXT in a dark match with Chad Gable, who of course ended up getting the gig, that’s exactly Mark Carrano told me backstage. It’s safe to say that I ended up not getting the contract that I had dreamed of since my days of eating Fruit Loops and watching the Rock and Chris Jericho trade shots on the mic. That ate at me every day since then, I almost hung up the boots for good when I met my three best friends in the world, Josh Flynn, Ryan Reeves, and Jonnathan Brave. We all went to Rutgers and were bunked together, I started watching BOLA which spurred us to bond over wrestling. Know we all live in a small apartment on Whitehall Road trying to get noticed by the big fishes.

Character Information (Updated 6/6)

 

Name: Jonathan Kersey

Age: 20

Height: 6’3 (achieved final "growth spurt" while still growing at 19, now standing two inches taller)

Weight: 163 lbs (dropped weight while rehabbing injury after shoot)

 

Allegiance: Face

Gimmick: Rebel (hehe)

Role: Lower Midcard

Alliance: None

Fighting Style: Agile Technician

Strengths: Mat Wrestling, Ring General, Workrate

Weaknesses: Mic Skills, Charisma, Singles

 

Vintage Maneuvers: Double Underhook Lungblower, Leg Trap German, Regalplex

Signature 1: Crash Cart (Rainmaker w/ Elbow, Kerse is trying to limit moves directly involving knees so the Crash Cart has been switched from a Shotgun Kick)

Signature 2: 450 Splash

Finisher 1: Concussion Protocol (Fisherman Snap Brainbuster)

Finisher 2: Dementia (Finn Balor's Dragon Sleeper)

Tag Team Finisher: N/A

 

(Note: This Is Liable To Change)

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Entry One

June 11, 2016

Pro Wrestling Syndicate: Supercard 2016

Sayreville, New Jersey

 

“For Christ’s sake Brave, we have three fucking minutes before we have to go, you can talk to Maria later,” I rapped on the door, checking my watch often as if time would just decide to screw me over. I wasn’t exactly in full gear yet but throwing on my ‘Damaged Goods’ t-shirt was less of an issue than Brave still not having his knee pads on. “If you pull the shit you did last week..” Brave finally stumbled out the locker room trying to move and lace up his kickpads at the same time. We made it to the Guerrilla area with no time to spare and Brave tying the last knot on his kickpad. Before we knew it, “Process Of Belief” by Bad Religion began to play and we were guided out to the ramp where we were cheered on by the fans, I presumed not as much as our opponents, the exciting and dysfunctional team of Shynron and Lio Rush, two of the best young talents on the world today. Besides the point, Brave hyped up the crowd as I high-fived the hands of fans as I made my way down into the ring, I hopped onto the second rope and rose my tag title belt, Damaged Goods had been champs ever since defeating Gregory and Iron Hush for the titles in December. I jumped back down and handed the ref my belt and waited in the corner for the bell to be rung.

 

Damaged Goods © vs The Shynron Rush; PWS Tag Team Championship Match

 

I would be the guy starting the match out for my team along with Lio Rush. We entered a collar and elbow tie-up, I wasted no time gaining an advantage by hitting a quick stomp to the blue booted foot of Rush before applying a vertical side headlock. Rush wouldn’t lay down though as he forced me into the ropes before launching me off of him but I came right back with a Rolling Elbow. Before Rush fell, I managed to catch him and hit a bridging German suplex, 1..-- Rush easily rolled out of the pin.

 

I rushed to my feet, trying to keep Rush grounded because there was no way that I would have no chance to keep up with him, but as soon as I rose I was met with a dropkick that sent me into my half of the ring. Lio came in hot pursuit after me bouncing off the ropes and trying for a grounded Shooting Star Press, unfortunately for him, I rolled out of the way and tagged in Brave who immediately came with a springboard dropkick that sent Lio flying out through the ropes. Brave was immediately on Rush’s ass like back pockets, following the dropkick with a rope-step moonsault that wowed the crowd who exploded with cheers. Brave rolled rush into the ring and slid in the ring, waiting for Rush to reach his feet. He charged at Lio but Rush moved out the way, sending him into our corner where a tag was made as Lio looked to tag in Shynron as I pursued him, I managed to catch Lio, holding onto him as he extended to make a tag to Shynron, but his partner was distracted, seemingly getting into it with a fan. Brave got in front of Rush and hit him with a superkick which sent him into me to be hit with a picture perfect Dragon suplex. I rolled through after the move my grip still intact, I hit a full nelson facebuster. This time I rolled him onto his back and hooked the leg for a cover, 1...2-- kick out.

 

We were firmly in control for a long time, Shynron not wanting to get anywhere close to the match whenever Rush found an opportunity to get a tag, Shynron finding a way to get away from the incoming tag. Finally Rush exploded catching Shynron with a single leg dropkick and continuing his assault on Shynron, resulting in a count out. The two proceeded to continue brawl around the arena as Brave and I retrieved our titles and continued to the back.

 

We stayed for the rest of Supercard, knowing that the main event was going to be Ryan and Josh going at it and that was always an awesome match. As Ryan’s music hit, a murmur broke out in the back, I turned my head to see what was going on to see the roster parting like the Red Sea. Confused, I stood and saw why. Paul Heyman was strutting through, no clear emotion on his face. Instead he came towards the monitor that most of the roster was crowded around and began watching. Not saying a word. The match was all we’d grown to expect from Josh and Ryan, it came to a spectacular close when a Beyond Infinite (Shining Wizard) was reversed into a Pop-Up Powerbomb followed by a Mushroom Stomp to the chest of Reeves to all but seal the victory.When the two finally reached the back, they were also in awe by the presence of Heyman, who turned away from the monitor.


“Could the resident four super friends come with me?” Looking at me, Brave, Flynn and Reeves before he walked out the door. We quickly followed him out where he stood holding four contracts. We stood dumbfounded. “If you guys are interested in these, meet me in Brooklyn, 6201 15th Avenue, tomorrow at 4. Dress nicely.”

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Entry Two

June 12, 2016

Brooklyn, New York

 

We drove in silence, not knowing exactly what to say. This wasn’t another hole in the wall promotion offering us a deal or about our availability for a date so that they could book us. It was the the promotion we all watched during our childhood and hoped we would end up that first day of wrestling school. Every person in who said that they didn't need WWE are either Japanese or lying, because their will always be a burning desire in every wrestler to see if they can make it in the WWE. I had that opportunity before and blew it. So nothing, not a tension breaking joke, small talk, anything would help the butterflies crashing around my stomach. Which only seemed to grow larger as we entered Brooklyn, by the time the building came into view, it was a full blown conservatory. We parked on the curb and as the air turned still as Josh cut off the engine. We all looked at each other, wanting to say something but didn’t know what to say. This was an opportunity that none of us ever had, a guaranteed shot, if nothing else. So I opened passenger side door and stepped out of the Range Rover, dusting off the remnants of the White Castle, that we went out of our way to stop for on 8th Avenue, off my only suit. Following behind the other three, we entered the WWE building. In front of us stood Paul Levesque and Paul Heyman. My jaw went slack at the sight of two of the most influential men in wrestling. Only behind the likes of Vince McMahon. Paul approached, coming to each of us and shaking each of our hands with a smile, taking us out of our petrified states. Heyman also walked up to us.

 

“Why waste any time, let's talk contracts.” Levesque shot Heyman a look before smiling back at us. Heyman rolled his eyes, obviously in a hurry.

 

“The man has a point, follow us.”

 

“No I think, I'll just lead. Cause that's an obvious option.” I thought to myself, a product of my nervousness. I wiped my sweaty palm off on the back of my pant legs before speeding up to catch everybody.

 

“They’re with us,” Heyman said as we reached security, who eyed us very carefully though they allowed us to pass. We entered the elevator and seconds later we were on the eighth floor in a conference room, Heyman and Levesque sitting across from me, Flynn, Brave, and Reeves. On the table lay four contracts, WWE contracts. HHH finally broke the silence.

 

“Now their are some terms to the contract. You’ll have a 6 months deals, eight thousand dollars guaranteed with a required 3 months in the Performance Center before you’ll be eligible to debut on WWE programming. From then on, we’ll determine the best course of action. Now, Reeves and Flynn, you’ll be able to finish you’re Indy bookings so long as you complete the necessary hours, but Brave and Kersey, you’ll have to pull out of any commitments you have. That sound good?”

 

There wasn't any deliberation, no reason to delay us accomplishing our biggest dream. We chorused “Yes” and took the contracts with the pens attached to them and signed them. Suddenly all the weight that was shoving me down was non-existent. The butterflies were gone.

 

“I fucking did it.” I thought.


“Welcome aboard,” Heyman said.

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Entry Three

June 13, 2016

Orlando, Florida

 

I woke up, blaring headache. I blinked my eyes, getting the adjusted enough to read the alarm clock. 8:04, 26 minutes before I needed to be at the Performance Center. I sat up, the memory of what happened last night either gone from the drinks (it's legal in New York), or my brain is too tired to think back to it. I shuffled into the bathroom and splashed my face with water, looking in the mirror to see I look as wasted as all hell. I took a quick shower and changed into a NXT shirt and Nike shorts along with Free Trainer 1.0s. I checked my bag and made sure I had all my gear just in case. Double checking my kickpads before throwing a shoe at Jonnathan’s door to wake him up.

 

“You got five minutes or you can run to the Performance Center,” I called out as I headed to the kitchen. WWE sure took care of their talent, from catering to providing housing. I threw a Pop-Tart into the toaster and poured myself a glass of orange juice. As I waited for the the Pop-Tart to finish toasting I pulled out my phone, scrolling through texts and tweets. I heard the toaster pop out the Pop-Tart and gulped down the rest of my OJ. Brave finally made it down, also wearing his “Property Of NXT” shirt. I tossed him the untoasted Pop-Tart and a water bottle and together we headed out the door. We rode the bus to the Center and headed in. We were immediately headed off by our ambassadors of a sort. Two people who'd been around for a while, Brave got Finn and I got Bayley. Finn took Brave to see Levesque, who wanted to see him.

 

“Well, I'm Bayley. Hope you know who I am,” she said with a friendly smile.

 

“No clue, I haven't watched any sort of wrestling ever, don't even work here,” I responded jokingly before offering my hand. “Jonathan Kersey, head of the Poisoned Rana fan club. Didn't see you at last week's meeting.” We shook hands.

 

“Well you see, I had this thing. I'd tell you but I think I should show you around so you can get to Canyon’s class on time.” And so began the tour, the Center was amazing, the sheer amount of space and rooms to improve on everything, to put in simpler terms, you could've split it right down the middle and it would still be the best one in the United States. Finally the end of the tour came, Bayley pointed to Canyon Ceman.

 

“By the way, do you know how to set up a ring?” Bayley asked. As an Independent wrestler, this question deeply offended me.

 

“My pride, it was built off my setting up rings for six months,” I replied “Why do you ask?”

 

“Come to the tapings on the 24th. You’ll find out why. Have fun.” And with that, Bayley was gone into some direction. I turned around and walked up to the massive gathering in front of Ceman. Trying to slip in unnoticed, but Canyon immediately spotted me, not paying much mind though. He clapped his hands and called immediately received the attention of everybody who was already staring at him.

 

“Alright, let's get started,” little did I know, those of the words were going to join some of the phrases I hated most, in the vein of phrases like “until I'm tired”, “skinny kid from New York”, and “just, don't even say anything, just run”. So we got started, 100 wind sprints, 150 push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks later, we were deemed worthy to get in the ring. I doubled over, catching my breath.

“Out of shape, are ya mate?” I craned my neck to see a rather large red head standing over, shirt stained with sweat, also gasping for air.

 

“Please, 3rd team All-American 2nd baseman, 1st team wrestler. I am shape.” I said, straightening up.

 

“I have no idea what anything you just said meant. I'm Joey Balatron,” said the hefty Ginge.

 

“Jonathan Kersey,” I said as we shook hands.

 

“Yo Joey,” another guy said as he walked up to us. Low cut black hair with a stubble walked up to us. “This is Blake Miles,” Joey said before receiving a punch in the shoulder from Miles, who I presumed was generally a secretive person.

 

“Jonathan Kersey,” I said to Blake before Canyon blew the whistle, causing us to herd around him. Okay. Today we'll be working on calling spots. You and your partner are going to have to trust each other because you're life’s are in each other's hands. Pair up, strap on your kickpads and let's get going.” I looked at Balatron and shrugged, he nodded and we headed over to an available ring and hopped into it. A shrill blast from Ceman’s whistle blew and marked the beginning of the training session.

 


Joey and I bumped fists before locking up, “Push to the ropes, Irish whip and shoulder block,” Balatron whispered following through with it. As he slammed into me, “Be ready to take a tornado DDT bump,” I said.

“What?” Balatron bounced off the ropes as I kipped up right into a DDT. I heard a wolf whistle. Didn't look to see who it was from or who it was for. We continued on, calling random spots until we were out of things to pull out the bag. Finally we collapsed on the mat of exhaustion, I looked around the Center to see we were the last pair standing, or were the last pair.


“Good job, you two should probably go to the mirror room now, think you've had enough mat work for today. Keep it up, won't be as easy tomorrow next time though.” I raised my fist and Balatron knocked his fist against it before we somehow staggered to our feet using the ropes to keep us up. I slid out to the apron, catching my breath and unlacing my kickpads before hobbling towards the mirror room.

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Entry Four

June 24, 2016
Winter Park, Florida
NXT Taping

I showed up to the tapings after another long day at the Performance Center, it was a lot of work, I had to learn and relearn everything I had ever learned about wrestling, new pacing for the size of WWE’s rings compared to those of Indy rings, making your shots less stiff (that lesson was the worst), and general things like that. I walked into Full Sail, still in my gear from the Center, soaked shirt under a hoodie as I forced myself forward against the will of my legs. As soon as I stepped into the area cordoned off for NXT, I was spotted by Bayley, who came towards me and assaulted me with a hug.

“Hey dude, glad you could make it? How’s the Performance Center?” she asked.

“Well, it’s something, shattered my pride and my legs at the same time. It's fun though.” 

“Well glad you could make it, you're just in time, the ring just got here and we need help setting up the ring.” I stared dumbfounded at her, now, most guys in the Indies never touched the ring unless you wanted to get some things in before the crowd arrived and needed the process to get hurried up. These guys had to, it wasn't a product of their boredom. I shook it off and gestured for her to lead the way as I dragged my legs along behind her. As we brushed past the curtain, I realized that the ring was supposed to be setup from scratch. It's not like I had anything better to do, except sit, maybe enjoy a nice juice box and PB&J sandwich. Oh well. So began a long hour or so of setting up the ring, double checking, inspecting, and attacking the ring to make sure that it would be good. By the end of it, my legs decided to go into early retirement so as I sat on the apron, unable to physically get up, I uttered. 

“My legs, I think my legs are finished. Call for help, I've satten and I can't get up.” 

This eventually led to me getting into Bayley’s Twitter with a ridiculous video of me trying to relearn how to walk. Somehow, I made it backstage and got parked in front of a monitor when I heard my name being called. I turned to see the pair of Matt Bloom and William Regal signaling me over to them. I groaned and forced myself up and walked over there.

“How do you feel about warming up the crowd with a dark match?” Regal asked. My heart froze and my legs went from jelly to butter as I stared at Regal in disbelief. 

“Yeah, I-I'd love to sir. Thank you for the opportunity,” I spoke. 

“Okay, great, you'll be in a dark match against Tye Dillinger, we’re gonna give you 15 minutes to go get those guys ready for the rest of the card. Better hurry up though, match is in eight minutes.” As soon as Regal turned, I hurried off to the locker room, changing into the attire I had packed in my backpack. I tugged on my arm sleeve and walked out. Regal told me that he informed Bloom of my entrance song and Dillinger was waiting for me in the gorilla area. We planned as much as we could before “Process Of Belief” by Bad Religion hit and I walked out through the curtain. 

I made my entrance, nothing too special since most people had no idea who I was. Tye came out and had an amazing entrance, the 10s resonating from the crowd as he made his entrance. Before long, we were both in the ring, standing a foot apart from each other. The ref called for the bell. 

Jonathan Kersey vs Tye Dillinger: Dark Match

We started the match with a quick show of respect, shaking hands. We quickly went into a collar and elbow tie-up, I gained an advantage with a swift transition into back to belly and swept out the legs out from under him before going into an  Armbar, making sure to have my knee squared firmly in the spine of Dillinger as I wrenched on the hold. Tye managed to wriggle out of the hold, getting back to his feet. He went back into a tie-up, this time Dillinger went for a knee which connected against my sternum before locking in a side headlock. I wasted no time forcing him into the ropes and launching him off, he rebounded off the ropes across the ring and met me in the middle and I was taken down with a shoulder block before doing his signature 10 taunt, the crowd joining in, he back pedaled into the ropes, he came storming back but ran right into a kip-up DDT. This I was the one doing the 10 taunt. I dropped down and put my knee across his back, grabbing his far arm and stretching it back towards me. The Canadian screamed out and pain,

“On of scale of 1 to 10, how much do you think that hurts?” 

I posed the question to the crowd and they responded with a mixture of resounding boos and 10s as I continued applying pressure. Finally, Tye managed to roll out of the hold and onto my knee before socking my across the jaw, dropping me to the mat. He ran at me looking for a knee but I managed a straight kick to the arm of Dillinger from my back, halting his momentum to grab at his arm, I rolled back to my feet, Tye finally shaking off the arm pain and once again charging at me, this time I ducked under a clothesline and caught him with a back kick that slightly connected with the thigh. I bounced off the ropes and right into a belly to belly that left me slightly entangled in the ropes. I made it to all fours to see Dillinger taunting me.

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Infuriated, I hoped by to my feet and sprinted at Dillinger who reversed my momentum into an awkward standard arm drag, I immediately came back to my feet straight into a better arm drag. This time when I got back up, Dillinger was looking for a Hangman’s neckbreaker but I elbowed out of it and countered into an leg trap German, causing a nasty snap of Dillinger’s leg from folded to straight as he crashed into the mat. Wasting little time, I got Dillinger up and hit an Exploder that left Tye upside down in the corner. I dashed to the parallel corner, sliding to a halt before charging across the ring and connecting with a hesitation dropkick to knees of Dillinger, rolling to me feet as Dillinger writhed. I pulled him out the corner into a leg hook cover, 1…2.-- kick out. 

I wasted no time immediately got into an Indian deathlock, not opting to turn it into a full fledged Muta Lock but instead doing more damage to the knees Dillinger to attempt to neutralize the knee based finishers of Dillinger, I went out of the deathlock and opted to apply the Romero Special knee stomp, completely obliterating the knees of Dillinger before the ref pulled me off to check on Tye, I decided to use this opportunity to goad the crowd with some mocking 10’s as boos came from everybody in the crowd. Out of nowhere I was rolled up, school boy, 1...2..-- I managed to kick out of the surprise pin. 

I rolled out the ring attempting to catch my breath as Dillinger once again got the crowd going as I slammed my fist into a steps. I finally went back into the ring and ran into a huge powerslam. Dillinger lifted me up and deposited me in the corner as he climbed to second rope before beginning to lay punches on me, as he reached ten, he took a moment to hype it up but I used the window to slip under Dillinger and hit an epic bridged German suplex, 1…2…-- Dillinger rolled out of the pin.

As I made it back to my knees and realized Dillinger rolled through and got blasted by a Superkick as Dillinger caught his breath. He rolled out the ring, looking poised to hit another superkick as I used the stairs to get to my feet. Dillinger tried for it but I managed to catch his foot before throwing it back with as much force as I could, as he fell forward I caught him with a double underhook lungblower, getting a huge pop from the crowd for the devastating move. I finally spurred, grabbing the apron to get to enough of a base to get myself of a base to roll into the ring. The ref continued counting, but Dillinger managed to get in lat the count of 9. I crawled over into the cover, 1..2..-- Dillinger barely got his shoulder off the mat.

I put hands on top of the head before banging the mat in frustration. I rose to my feet begging for Dillinger to rise to his feet, he drunkenly stumbled up and back, I spun him around right into a Concussion Protocol with a bridge, 1...2…-- and Tye kicked out! 

I sat in shock as the ref showed me two fingers as I shook my head. I lifted myself up and scaled the turnbuckle, slowly rising from a squatted position before going for a 450 Splash but Dillinger rolled out the way. We both lay on the mat, neither of us stirring as the ref began his count. I reached for the ropes, pulling myself up, I turned around to be blasted with a superkick right into a Perfect 10 and immediately followed by a Tye Breaker! Dillinger fell into a cover, 1…2…3.

(Part ½)

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Entry Four (Continued)

June 24, 2016
Winter Park, Florida
NXT Taping

I stared up at the lights for a few moments before rolling out the rings, the adrenaline evaporated which caused my legs to return to jello. I stumbled and caught myself on the barricade, getting a few claps on the back from a few fans who enjoyed my performance. I continued on my way to the back, where I barely made it out of the gorilla area where I collapsed on my back, covering my face with my hands as I regained energy. I felt a small kick on my side and removed a hand to see the small army of people in front of me, headed by Dillinger, Bayley, and Paul Levesque among others. I saw Paul’s extended and grabbed it, getting back to my feet. 

“I heard about your predicament and I gotta say I'm impressed,” Levesque began. “Being able to put aside that pain from the Center and go put on that match with Tye. In fact I'm so impressed that I'm cutting your required time at the Performance.” 

I felt my jaw slowly slacking, my knees buckled and I began to feel dizzy. I started to say thank you but got choked up on the tears halfway there, instead I pulled HHH into a huge hug as the others surrounding us began to clap. As we pulled away from each other, I keeled over, others coming forward and clapping me on the back before going back to prepare for their matches, finally I lifted my head to see Ryan, Flynn, and Jonnathan still there also sweat soaked from their day at the Center. We converged into a huge hug, Curtain Call like before we all pulled away, the three of them wearing large smiles as I wiped away the tears. It was a storybook moment, silence that spoke volumes as we all exchanged looks of pleasure. 

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Entry Five

August 25, 2016

Winter Park, Florida

NXT Tapings

 

I stepped into Full Sail, trying my best to suppress the illness that decided to strike on the single most important night of my life, I decided to make it easier on myself and get my gear on under my clothes at home where I could vomit and vomit and vomit some more. I wiped the never ending sweat off of my forehead with the bottom of t-shirt and took a long swig of what appeared to be my fourth Ginger Ale. I walked up the corridor and saw many NXT superstars gathered, all chatting. I stood frozen there, I was one of them now, I had really done it. So at this point I was expecting to wake up from a dream way too good to be true. I continued forward as a couple eyes turned towards me, some waved and others simply returned to their conversations. I felt my stomach begin to churn and something rising faster than Finn Bálor’s shoulder when it popped out, which randomly stuck with me. I threw off my small bag and hurried off the bathroom, managing small smiles to people I walked past before shoving the bathroom door in and making my way into a stall where I didn't make it to the toilet in time before I began to barf. I collapsed on my butt, getting sicker as I stared at the only view there was in the bathroom, the super deluxe cheesy oddly shaped omelet with ham co-starring and a strong cameo from half the carton of milk. In that very moment, I looked back on all the questionable choices I’d ever made in my life, all the stupid shit I decided to say, the dumbass pictures I took on Instagram (where you should definitely follow me though I barely ever post at xKingRebelx, do it now) and realized that I'd thrown everything I ever worked for halfway out the window and barely had a shot of yanking it back in. I stood, shakily making it back to standing straight and cleaned up the mess I’d made before throwing it in the toilet and flushing. I wiped the remnants off my mouth and popped in two sticks of gum into the war zone and heading out the bathroom. I caught a good chunk of people heading out the gorilla area and followed them out, where we proceeded to set up the ring, which I somehow managed to do without shitting myself. Afterwards, I took a few moments on the apron to recollect my bearings and steady myself before heading backstage. I pulled a head towel out of my bag and draped it over my head, as I waited every moment for it to be time for the match. I would be facing Kenneth Crawford in my NXT televised debut, who was an actual former marine. We’d talked already about how'd we proceed to do things and I felt good about the match which was now in question. I produced a Gatorade from my bag and glugged some down before being nudged from behind. My head snapped around, ready to tear the head off of however was disturbing me when I saw a collective group of my closer friends, Reeves, Flynn, and Brave, along with my new “bestie” Bayley. I gave them a weak smile as I stood. I saw the concerned look on Brave’s face as he was the only one of the group to have seen me sick like this before but I gave him a quick slight nod.

 

“What's going on guys?” I asked as I pulled the towel to my neck.

 

“We’re here for you man, this is your moment and we want you to know we’re behind you no matter what,” Flynn said before sticking his fist out, I bumped it with as much as I could as I gave a true smile.

 

“How are you dude?” Bayley asked me with a wide smile.

 

“I mean I'm feeling great--” lying through my teeth, “-but you're the one who's on Raw now, you did it.” I said, eager to divert attention from myself.

 

“No no, this is your moment, I'm not here to steal it, just to support it.” At this point I was getting dizzy, feeling overwhelmed and sicker as things became distorted. I looked at Ryan who looked like he was waiting for an answer to something.

 

“Sorry what was that?” I said, unsure of whether I was too loud or not.

 

“You sure you're okay man, you look a little sick,” he said, abandoning his original question. My heart began to beat eighteen times faster than normal as I ran through every possible outcome I could, not knowing what to do at this point.

 

“It's just, everything is just hitting me right now,” I said as retook my original seat. “I just really don't want to fuck it up and right now I'm worried that what Carrano told me was a truth I didn't want to hear or accept. I-I don't know of I can do this.” Finally Brave stepped through and squatted down in front of me, intensely locking eyes with me, forcing me to stare back at him instead of stare at the ground helplessly.

 

“Hey listen, that was the biggest mistake that fucker ever made, you've but your entire being into this and so what if he didn't realize, every wrestling fan in New York and Jersey know your the real deal and if Carrano is too blind to see that, then maybe he's just a suit who doesn't know what talent looks like, you got this Jon, go show the world what they've been missing out on.” At that very moment (not really, but it sounds cooler like that) Kenneth Crawford came up to me and tapped his wrist, it was showtime. I nodded at him and bumped fists with everyone before pulling off my shirt in exchange for a “You're Only Damaged” t-shirt that featured both me and Brave on it. I wrapped my left wrist with black tape, right with burgundy and took a final swig of Gatorade and walked off to the gorilla area.

 

As I waited in the dark corridor I stared up at the ceiling, muttering “God help me,” before Process Of Belief hit, signaling my cue. I manuvered around the turn before walking straight into the opening as the crowd began to cheer, influenced by the few hundred in attendance that knew who I was. I stood emotionless right outside the gorilla, standing on the stage that I only stood on two times prior, each ending with a different result. As I moved to the center of stage where I looked down at my hand, making a three finger handgun as I pointed it directly at Crawford before doing a throat slit motion and continuing down the ramp, clapping a few hands of fans on both sides of the ramp then making my way in front of the stairs where I tugged off my shirt, breaking my tendency and giving one to a fan. I jogged up the stairs and hopped into the ring where I went to the middle of the ring, standing in the face of Crawford before backing up into my corner. Finally my nerves exploded again, the crowd becoming mixing into a single incohereant noise, I felt something slowly crawling up my throat but slowed it back down reluctantly, where it slowly crept back down my digestive system. I pulled a stick of gum from my kickpad and tossed it in my mouth as the ref called for the bell.

 

I immediately went into a sprint before jumping up and connecting with a massive dropkick that sent Crawford tumbling into the corner. I rolled back to my feet before running back at Kenneth, pulling out a penalty kick before floating over the rope, landing on my feet on the apron where I shuffled over a few steps and connected with a superkick to the side of his face. I threw my arms up, shouting at the crowd to get on there feet and that they did. I squatted down on the apron, still holding onto the top rope as I caught my limited breath, noting that the crowd didn't hate me and liked the first sequence. I waited for Kenneth to rise, as he did I slung myself up to the top rope, twisting as I did before going for a Springboard Moonsault. Crawford smartened up and dodged the move, I landed hard on my right leg, my knee buckling hard as Crawford exploded with a inside-outting clothesline. Crawford fell directly into the cover 1...2...3. Wait what the fuck?

 

I'm just playing, I kicked out at a mere 1 and a half. Crawford wasted no time, quickly rising and dropping back down with a falling knee drop to the top half of my back before locking in a chinlock, I managed to make it to the ropes, grabbing the bottom rope. Crawford again wasted no time before pulling me to the center of the ring where he stepped back a few feet and looked for a knee drop but I had it scouted, rolling out the way then reaching my feet with a somersault kip-up. I looked for another massive kick but Kenneth ducked underneath and rolled me up with a schoolboy but I grabbed the arm and slid from my shoulders to my back, putting Crawford in an odd inverted Armbar before transitioning into a Fujiwara then sliding across his back on do his other arm with a Jim Breaks variation. Instead of staying in the extremely painful submission, I completely pulled him over, keeping his arm trapped but also draped my other arm over him, Dragon Sleeper style before lifting him up for a reverse 1916 and dropping him on his head. I stood before bouncing off ropes and jumping up for a Mushroom Stomp to the head, falling on his chest before pinning his leg back for the cover, 1…2..-- kickout.

 

I stared down at Crawford, wild light dancing around in my eyes before I raised the three finger pistol and put it against his temple. I pulled Crawford up and hooked his leg, lifting him up for a Concussion Protocol, flowing over and hooking the inside leg with my own leg for the three count.

 

I immediately exploded up yelling into the air as I stole American Alpha’s gimmick, sliding into ropes as I clutched the bottom rope with my shaking hands as the crowd roared back at me with cheers. My entire body trembled as I rose back to my feet, the ref grabbing my arm and raising it. As he dropped it back down, I walked over to the turnbuckle and went to the second rope where I pointed to my own chest before doing the classic right here taunt and jumping off. I fell to my knees in the middle of the ring and putting my hands on my hips before shuffling toward the ropes and sliding out, untaping my wrist tape and tossing it to certain fans before continuing backstage where in the gorilla the group awaited me.


I fell into them with a smile, hugging them all tightly as again, tears of joys streamed down my face as I whispered, quiet but loud enough for everyone to hear, I did it.

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Entry Six

September 14, 2016
Winter Park, Florida
Emergency NXT Live Show

For the past couple of weeks we've transitioned to going live after losing the tapings we had prepared. And in those weeks, I'd forgotten how to wrestle, I quite simply couldn't do anything correctly and I already wasn't on good terms with some staff members after some previous altercations. I stood in the gorilla area, trying to calm myself down as I silently muttered a quick prayer. My music hit my stomach turned, as if moths had begun eating away at the lining. I made my way out and did my entrance entering the ring where Tye Dillinger awaited me.

Nerves viciously and relentlessly attacked my mind as the ref called for the bell. I maneuvered around the ring before getting into a lockup with Tye, as we did the collar and elbow, Dillinger got a hold of my arm. And this is where I cut it. This was the worst match of my career, I'm embarrassed to even recount past the first sequence to the botch riddled match that saw Tye come out on top. I didn't even bother to look up when I reached the back. 

Later on in the evening, I found myself Mark Carrano’s office. My body language was that of a dismayed child. 

“You're done.” The words reverberated in my mind a near thousand times. Slowly I nodded my head and began to rise to find that the onslaught wasn't quite finished.

“I honestly never understood what Paul said he saw in you, look at you, pathetic. Get defeated so easily, don't you get it, you are garbage. You'll never be anything more than that. That's why I tried to tell you all those years ago that you'd never be anything more, a boring, useless, piece of trash that doesn't even deserve be in Full Sail at all. Now get the hell out and maybe you should try to find another career path.”

My anger spilled out, before I could do anything that I would immediately regret, I exited the room, went into the locker room, grabbed my duffel and a sledgehammer I found near the door. I exited Full Sail, heading in one signal direction. I found the Nissan Altima and threw off my bag. I gripped the hammer baseball bag style, doing a couple of practice swings before loading up and swinging with all my force. I was never a power hitter, but it's safe to say that this easily cleared the fences. The window shattered and I slammed the hammer into the door immediately following as the alarm blared. Finally I finished and threw the hammer on to the Full Sail ark and walked away, away from my dream. 

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Entry Seven: “The Indy Guy”

 

September 24, 2016

Queens, New York

King Of New York - WoW

 

I stood at my Walmart aisle, impatiently tapping on the register as I waited for the clock to hit 3:30 to signify the end of my shift at the job I had to regrettably take to sort of keep my life afloat. As I peeked down at my iPhone screen to see that my phone was going berserk with texts from WoW’s commish and GM, Rob Blatt and Joey B telling me that I would be getting paid that my new contract offer had been accepted, pleasure doing and all. My alarm burst out informing me that it was time to roll. As I began to close up, I caught an old woman creeping towards my aisle with a rather large collection of items in the cart. In the second, I caught myself in a moral conflict, feeling as though I was in a video story mode with many branching options. As I thought about what course of action I should take, the senior citizen reached me. I muttered some things under my breath before giving a somewhat convincing smile and ever so slowly checking everything out to find that a couple more had lined up behind the elderly woman. I shook my head at them and in classic New York fashion, they said some not so pleasant things as the went to other lines. I closed up the aisle, now running thirteen minutes behind which would probably turn into fifty with rush hour rearing its ugly head around the corner. I rushed quickly bought a meal from the joint Jersey Mike’s Subs. I grabbed a quick Philly Cheesesteak with a Miss Vickies and Mountain Dew in a fountain cup. With no time to waste, I tossed a twenty not waiting to collect the change. I rushed to beat up black 1998 Audi A6, tearing off my Walmart vest and tossing it in the passenger seat along with my food. I placed the cup in the holder before sliding into the seat. I jammed my key into the ignition switch and spun it, and on about the eighth try with a sputter and cough, the engine made its way back to life. I roared out of the parking lot, making the route towards Brooklyn that I had been instilled in my mind. I ate as I drove, well more or less drove as much as swerved uncontrollably from lane to lane trying to shorten the route from an hour and thirty. Finally, with no time to spare, I reached the Fastbreak Basketball Center.I rushed to grab my duffel and enter the building. I went to the locker room and quickly changed into my gear, leaving me with a mere eight minutes to spare. As I pulled my compression knee sleeve over my right, the ghost pain subsided as the memory of my out of body experience simply vanished as it did most times I thought about it. Before I could think more upon the event that transpired mere years ago, Robert Blatt walked through the locker room door coming straight at me with a paper he held flimsily in hand.

 

“Here's your promo for tonight, we want you to cut it before your match.”

 

I nodded at his request and placed the paper at my feet as I finished pulling on the rest of my gear before reading it over and reciting the lines as much as I could in the long period before the show started. After I memorized the pre-written promo, I began to stretch out, starting at the same time that the bell was called for. I did my routine round of fifteen, performing my Russian twists, squats, push-ups, and jumping jacks before getting a drink of Mountain Dew and finding myself seated in front of the monitor with a good number of the roster around me. After Mike Law defeated Steve Scott to advance to the King Of New York finals, I rose and headed to the gorilla area in anticipation of my part in the show. I clapped Law and Scott on the back as they came to the back as I waited for my theme to hit.

 

“Blood On The Leaves” by Kanye West began to play from the arena speakers as I made my way to the curtain before stepping out. The reaction I got was staggering as it was a few fans from silence. I composed myself and made it to the ring where I got a mic from the ring apron. I looked around at the crowd before beginning my promo.

 

“Well--” I didn't even make it past the first word. I looked around at all the people in the crowd, all with puzzled expressions on their faces it was quite obvious that they didn't know who I was and I couldn't blame them. I was nothing more than a tag team wrestler and without that tag team, I was some random guy they hadn't seen before, I wasn't in denial, I was useless. I was made by my best friend, the same one who didn't even give me a second thought after I got released, who probably didn't even fight for me, and the other two that were supposed to always have my back did the same. Anger began to stack up as my mind began rolling. Blatt wanted a promo, and I was fully prepared to give him one.

 

“No. You know what, parents you might wanna cover your kid's ears.”

 

Part (Part 2 may be delayed as I want to shift my attention from ROTK to EKW so apologies in advance and this episodes formatting is forever fucked, sorry but I'm not really sorry.)

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(Continued…)

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“Now my parents always told me that if I'm gonna shoot, I have to do it straight and more important than anything else, I can't miss. Now before this mic gets cut, I'm gonna let some things off my chest.”

 

I composed myself, taking a few breaths and organizing my thoughts.

 

“New York will always be home and I'll always love it. But let's make one thing clear, I am not fucking happy to be back here. For once in my life things were looking up, it seemed as though things were looking up, I'm not gonna act as though this name is Voldemort because you all know it, I was living the dream in WWE. A newfound superstar who they got as an accessory to his friends and nothing else and now I'm here.

 

You wanna know the truth about what goes on back there, Joey and Robby B hold their wrestlers hostage, keeping their lives in their hand because they can't wrestle anywhere but here and if they don't wrestle, they can't get paid and support their families.

 

You know I'm just jumping out my skin to see what happens when I get outta here, what inconceivable things are done to me, oh my will I get released from the job that pays less than the WalMart job I had to take to make sure that even though I'm living in my parents basement, I have enough pride to say I'm doing well.”

 

The mic finally cut out and I began to wonder why it took so long but decided that I should continue trying to bat a thousand.

 

“That's it, Joey?!” I shouted towards the back. “Were you too busy blowing Rob to notice your shred of your reputation has been lit on fire like a Kevin Durant jersey? Now, where was I, oh yeah Walmart, See the best correlation between you guys and customers is that you don't care about who is providing the public service so long as you see it but I'm no average Joe. RVD don't sue but I'm one of a kind and like the great Naitch once said, I'm having a hard time keeping these alligators back.”

 

It's safe to say that I was hot and the crowd was yelling right back at me, I spiked the worthless microphone into the mat and mounted up to the second turnbuckle where I continued to fan the flame, rousing the crowd from rowdy to outright insane. Finally “Catch Your Breath” began to play from the PA system, which was just a few strategically placed Bluetooth speakers, and out came James Ropati, his paint half done which said to me he'd be rushed out to sandbag me. I stared him down as he made his elaborate entrance, not even a sense of worry finding itself in my face or my mind. He finally his way to the ring where he stood in front of me, shaking his head. The bell ring and Ropati swung.

 

Jonathan Kersey vs James Ropati

 

The punch connected and rocked me. I used all that was within me to not fall after the first hook, so after stumbling backward a few steps I forced myself to remain on my feet. I stared blankly at Ropati who marched towards me, I was shell shocked and unable to process what was happening. As I began to regain my senses, Ropati slammed his knee into my abdomen. I doubled over, dry heaving as I attempted to regain my breath with Ropati making his gait around me. I weighed my actions, I was getting my ass kicked as a repercussion of airing all my anger and frustration to what, maybe one thousand fifty people. Getting sandbagged was pretty scummy, but what did I expect. I was violently jerked out of my thoughts by Ropati, I lifted me off my feet and dropped me on my head with a German Suplex. I found myself falling off the apron, I didn’t really want to get up and I just laid there. I wasn’t gonna try to fight this, I wasn’t gonna attempt to justify my actions, why would I? I knew what I’d done and was content and doing it, what’d they do? Withhold pay from me, not like the paid more than Walmart anyways. Release me? That’d be a blessing, I’d be able to actually make a living. The shoot probably wasn’t worth it, I didn’t care, though.

 

Ropati slide out the ring, intentionally face washing me on the way down. He stomped away at me until I felt feel warm blood began to trickle from my nose, it coursed down my lip onto my chest as I sat up. Ropati backed up, then ran at me and hit a dropkick that crushed my head against the veiled steel that holds up the ring. My ears began to ring and my vision became cross, I think Ropati was shouting something at me but I had no choice but to look at him, confused. Now Ropati began kneeing me without remorse, I felt my head begin to compact as the back of my skull felt like it was contracting. A rough knee peeled open my flesh, blood appearing like a tiger’s stripes. Ropati grabbed my hair and pulled me up, he threw my head between his thighs, then lifted me up and powerbombed me against the apron. It felt like a vertebra was pierced, my back locked up in pain and my pain was amplified. I reached up, grasping the apron and attempting the rise. Ropati wouldn’t allow it, though, stepping on my fingers as I finally began to crack. I’d tried to not give them the satisfaction of seeing me hurt, my breath had become uneven and soft whimpers displayed my pain. Ropati rose his leg off my hand, looking primed to bring it back down when I moved my hand. Instinctively, I swept Rop’s legs out from under him and he awkwardly fell onto his gut. I rolled into the ring as Ropati began to rise once more. I staggered back to the corner, Ropati in hot pursuit. I fell against the second rope, I was shocked to find that I wasn’t being pulverized, but to my horror, it was a much worse fate. Ropati pushed against my face as he raised my leg to the second rope, he tangled it up. It was my right leg, those fucking bastards. I tried to pull it away but it was all for not, the brace was exposed as Ropati began to kick and stomp it. I cried out in pain as I felt the ghost pain subside and be replaced by a new pain. I attempted with all my might to pull my leg away but Ropati was unrelenting. I heard the snap.

____

 

“Hey Jon, hustle your ass over here.” I wiped the sweat from my brow as upped my pace from a jog to a run as I angled myself to his shoulder. I smiled nonchalantly at the furrowed brow of Coach Nesbitt, displaying the arrogant nature the had helped me win a lot of people over, it was probably not the right time.

 

“Kerse, I swear to the good Lord, if you scramble instead of throwing the ball one more time, I will pull you for Bradley. Understand?” My smile evaporated and solemnly nodded, Coach pointed out a play at the top of his clipboard.

 

“I-Form Slot Left, X hitch, Y Out, Z  Drag, 4 Swing,” I recited then found the play on my band.

 

“Now let’s beat these fucking Gazelles.” I smiled at this comment, matching that of Coach Nesbitt’s. I jogged away, going into the crack in the huddle that was meant for me. I was transfixed on the crowd, all bundled in coats and blankets for the late December championship game. I searched the crowd, trying to pick out one person but failed to do so. I turned my attention to the huddle that was now much closer, I slipped into the gap and dropped to a knee.

 

“Message from Coach guys, ‘Let’s beat these fucking Gazelles’.” I allowed the whooping and shouts for a second before calling the play. “I-Form Slot Left, X hitch, Y Out, Z  Drag, 4 Swing. Ready? Break.” Cheering along the way, everybody found their spot as I slowly strutted to my spot under center. I examined the crowd once more, no dice. I peeked at the scoreboard, we were down 3 with 50 seconds left. One the 10-yard line, it was third down.

 

“Now, here’s the Warhawks All-Star Quarterback, the Freshman Jonathan Kersey.” The announcer’s voice broke through my thoughts as I settled into my spot. I glanced at the defense, they were still in their base 4-3 with a safety replaced by a nickel corner. I looked for the single high safety to find that he was in the box. I went into a frenzy, “Light Box, Light Box!” I shouted into the cold, my breath appearing as fog before me. “Green Light, Green Light!”

 

I returned to my squat and spoke my quick cadence “Eagle, Hike!” I received the snap and went into my five step drop, I noticed the blitz coming in and instantly shifted my gaze to Mike, who should be running a streak based off my “Light Box” audible, but he didn’t get off the press. I looked to my left, Evan could be breaking free but I wouldn’t have time to wait, and Kirk had slipped. My checkdown was engulfed by the incoming blitz, so I looked to my right to find the running lane open. I tucked the football and took off, sprinting past the end who was caught on a block and I found myself crossing the goal line. I heard everybody erupt, I soaked it in, but then I heard a crack, followed by a snap. I instantly crumbled, reaching at my knee as whistles were blown and penalty. I grabbed my knee, even my touch caused it to hurt more, I slowly opened my eyes and looked at my knee. I stared at it as a crowd began to form around me, headed by Coach Nesbitt. I heard all the clamor then it was silenced. Coach Nesbitt’s was the sole voice speaking.

 

“You okay Kearse?” I shakily looked up at him, then rose a jittering finger at my knee.

“Coach,” I muttered, tears rolling down my cheeks. “Coach, my knee is out of place.”

___

The ref was checking on me as Ropati’s theme played. Tears were once more streaming down my cheek as I stared at my knee once more. “You okay Kearse?”

(Part ⅔)

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