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Rise Of The King [Reboot]

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Entry Twelve: Double Goddamnit 

March 26, 2017
Staten Island, New York
Slater Federation Wrestling - Carnage

I sat in my car, seat pushed all the way back as I wrapped my knee three times over, tightly taping it before pulling an ace bandage over all the athletic tape and clamping it shut with a pair of pins. It was a pathetic support but anything would be. I had torn my ACL right off the bone, my knee had the stability of jello so I had seventeen braces and had done everything short of a burnt offering to the gods in hopes for no chance of further aggravating it. And I was currently very much regretting not making that offering. 

I pulled my wrestling tights over the wrap, then pulled my brace over the tights, creating a defacto splint. I couldn’t really afford to dress in the locker room a field a million questions about the status of my knee. So I just hoped to blend into the shadows per usual. I pulled a pair of sweatpants over my tights, grabbed my duffel and headed to the ferry, limping the entire way there.

I debated for what seemed like the millionth time if it was actually worth it, staking my future, in wrestling and beyond, all because of paranoia about what the injury could mean. So what, I got injured, shit happens sometimes, and getting worse won’t open any doors for me, neither will bombing bookings because I can’t do a 450. If kept working at it, I’d get back to exact same place I was now, and could push past. I could make PWG come calling again if I wanted it enough... or they wouldn’t. How was I supposed to sit still for a year, watching my friends succeed on the stage I wanted to be on. If it meant wrestling one leg, that’s what I was prepared to do. Would I regret it when my leg literally fell off? Probably, but who plans for the future anyways?

I made my usual trip to SFW Arena, arriving about an hour before the show was set to get underway. I was set to face Kyle Reeves in a rematch from match two weeks ago, which had managed to steal the show. We got a week off to recuperate from the damage done, but would be giving the fans the rematch they’d clamored for. The match would be closing the show, which was no pressure considering that if I fucked up I could always just bring up my ACL. Really I saw this as an absolute win.

I ducked off to an empty hallway as I awaited the start of the show, passing the time texting Brave and Flynn, who’d both just made their NXT debuts a month after TakeOver: Phoenix. Brave took on Velveteen Dream, but came a short in a fun match, making a great first impression. Flynn did what he usually did, win, beating Kassius Ohno in a great showing, so in other words, nothing had changed. It was an exciting time for them, but I still had gotten radio silence from Ryan. I tried my best to be happy for them, they’d done exactly what we promised each other would do, and they’d be coming back to Brooklyn in about a month. It’d be a trip seeing them again, with me so far removed from the track we all started on. I could feel my existentialism closing in so I decided to join the others in the locker room, in the midst of an intense game of Heads Up. 

I edged around to the back of the room, trying to soak in as much of the fun as possible without drawing attention to myself and knee that suddenly looked like it put on an extra twenty pounds. It was a fun group of guys, not without their fair share of drama but regardless, they came in with enthusiasm and energy every week, looking to be the best they could be. It was infectious, I’d probably enjoy it more if I wasn’t so focused on getting by to the WWE again, but I wanted to be where my friends where, that wasn’t here. I stayed for a couple minutes before ducking out to the guerilla area. I got in a good stretch as I waited for the show to start, it wasn’t a long wait. Kyle joined me shortly after the show got underway, waiting for our match to be announced. 

“Savage Mode” started playing and I pushed to the curtain, reminding myself to walk as normally as I could. I pushed the curtains aside and walked out to a warm reception to the fans, taking a moment to bathe in the appreciation before going to the edge of the stage to perform. I upped my pace a bit, getting to the ring quickly. 

Reeves followed suit, not taking too long to grandstand as “Rise Up” played. He was in the ring and facing off against me before long. Eventually the referee came between us, ushering us to separate corners. He signaled for the bell and the match got underway.

“Straight Jacket Shooter” Jonathan Kersey vs “The Black Lion” Kyle “Lionheart” Reeves II                 For A Comparable Number Of Marbles

Kyle didn’t explode out to start the match. He began to  circle the ring, edging closer to me with every step around the ring, trying to close of my angles of escape. I saw through the scheme and this time went on the offense, getting a collar and elbow tie up. Reeves didn’t waste any time before ducking out of the hold towards the turnbuckle, trying to maintain some measure of distance between us. I quickly pursued him, employing his own strategy against him, cornering him in... well the corner. We locked up again as I pushed him against the turnbuckle, pushing my forearm into his face and cranking his neck back. He tried to duck away again but I saw it coming, slipping behind him and hitting a Buckle German, sending his skull crashing against the middle turnbuckle. Reeves skimped after the devastating impact. I sprinted to the opposite turnbuckle, setting up for a grounded Shotgun Dropkick. I took off towards the turnbuckle as the fans began to howl in anticipation, a smile crossed my lips as I approached. I halted suddenly, as I felt my arm get yanked behind me, I got spun around, the last thing I saw was the smug face of Julius Jones, before he planted me with a Hells Welcome (End Of Days). 

I laid there, face into the mat before I dragged myself away from the center of the ring. I could hear Julius calling out to someone, telling them to, “Get him up”. I hoped it wasn’t me as I neared the edge of the ring. It wasn’t me, before I could get my bearings, I felt the ring tremble following what I could only assume was a thunderous Hell’s Welcome. I could hear the belly laughing of the pair, before a second voice, closer to me called out to me. 

?: “Exactly where do you think you’re goin mate?”

I was jerked up to my feet and turned, as I took in the mug of Daniel Vice for half a second, before I was thrown up, feet dangling in the air as he held me in position for a suplex, I wasn’t that lucky. I was spiked back into the mat.

I stared into the lights, reeling from the ambush. I felt my hair get tugged as my head was pulled off my mat. I squinted up, seeing the piercing, and quite angry, eyes of Julius glaring down at me.

Julius: Welcome to the show rookie, you managed to slip past me last week and somehow wrestle some of my spotlight onto you and that pathetic “Lionheart”. You see normally I leave the welcome wagon festivities to Mr. Vice, but I couldn’t let him have all the fun this time. I wanted to really make sure you know your place here in SFW.

He handed the microphone to Vice, who didn’t even bother to look down at me, looking out to the fans in attendance instead.

Vice: Never forget that this will always and forever be the Daniel Vice show, every superstars career trajectory is in my hands, as long as you bend the knee, we should never have any problems. Understand that you’ll never take what I want from me, and we’ll get along just great. You had to learn Jon, you and Kyles rocket ride to the top is done, until further developments. Enjoy your stay.

Julius: Now I know that you can have a tendency to be a bit crazy, so we decided to plan a little deterrent.

Vice dragged me to my feet as Julius backed to the corner, he exploded out, closing the gap he’d just opened up with massive strides, before hitting me square in the nose with a Claymore. My body thudded against the mat once again, I couldn’t even sit up. Not that I needed to, as Vice propped me up once again. Julius took the microphone back to his lips.

Julius: Now I’m about to take a before picture Johnny, this is what you’ll look like if you stay in your place. For your sake, don’t make me take an after picture.

Vice handed Julius a phone, the posed against my limp body before snapping a picture and letting my head slam against the mat once again. And just like that, there went that fun thing.


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