It's late at night in Johannesburg South Africa. The stars and drape of the night have fully covered the landscape. While the others are out exploring, taking in the sights and seeing what kind of trouble they can get into and out of... It's a local hotel we find our way to. It's not the Ritz, it's not a Hilton. It's another run of the mill, close to the airport and close to the arena venue. The room is not the grandest, it's got a small work desk and bed. The clock reads 1:30 am. Nothing fancy, nothing in depth or anything befitting a "minority owner" of one of the largest wrestling promotions on earth.
We find the Southern Rebel Ron Hall sitting at a desk quietly looking through some files on his computer. This isn't a promo session. Those were earlier today. This is a look into the unspoken, less than glamorous life of being part of the soul crushing experience known as corporate America, even half way across the world. Only perk to this, a white t shirt and dark blue sleep pants are his current work clothes. A can of Coca Cola gives him enough energy to stay awake this night.
His eyes scan files. His mind slowly pouring over things. His face reflecting a lack of sleep.
"This is such a waste of time." Clicks on a file. "Emails about things I'm not even involved in." Clicks on another file. "That's nice... A meeting of suits I'll never be able to get to. They know I'm all the way over here..." Clicks on another file. "The next card for Victory courtesy of Michael Lorenzo..." "A four way for the Wildfire championship..."
He clicks on a folder marked Fan Mail. You would expect the letters to be encouraging, supportive, even uplifting right? You haven't read any of mine, especially lately have you?
"You suck!" Reads one.
"Your just like Wingate!" Decries another. Do people do fact checks or consider the back story anymore?
" U Can't do it on your own can you?" This is email? It looks more like Twitter. Not to be outdone comes this next work of literary genius...
"U R A horribl rasslor and can't do nything wout using ure puil."
He finds himself face palming. It's nice to see that some perspective and even a spell check have eluded some people.
To himself only: "There's no making people happy is there? I did it right and in the ring and everyone wants to discount, downplay and act like..."
Beep! His phone buzzes with a text. He reaches for it from the charger. The return number is from Seattle Washington. A glimmer of support or hope? Please.
"Not so easy now is it? Everything you do, everything you earn will be second guessed. Should have kept your mouth shut. Hahaha"
Such a heartfelt message deserves a simple and earnest reply. Ron simply takes a moment and writes to this concerned soul.
Ron slides the phone back across the table and shakes his head. "That will likely get me a phone call from H.R. tommrrow."
His mind turns towards the task at hand. A 4 corners match for the Wildfire Championship.
"A championship match with three other people. Three unique personalities. There's Abdul Bin Hussein, the former champion and resident psychopath. I'm sure his entourage will be around doing everything they can and as much they can to ensure that their meal ticket walks out with the championship."
He looks into the folder. Oh goodie, an email from UTA Human Resources that reads: Text Message Policy. Don't these guys understand that 1. It was from my personal phone, not a corporate phone, which I don't want and 2. I don't care what lapdogs he sends after me?
"Colton Thorpe, the new Wildfire champion, one of the hottest stars in the company. There's the subject of that loss at Victory from last month I still owe him for. What better way to repay him than to give him one of the shortest reigns in company history?"
A smile crosses his face. Yes it could happen. He could regain his status as a main event player. It would be sweet redemption. It would be another headache for the fanboys to go on about. Speaking of which...
His email shows that a friend has emailed him a link to a podcast. Why, oh why do I put myself through this kind of torment? Click.
Exerts from a podcast start to play as Ron torments himself with this. We hear a host talk about the low expectations for Ron going into this match and how maybe, just maybe the old warhorse can pull one more out of his hat. "I love to surprise people." This gets him to think about the wildcard in the match.
"There's you Cayle Murray. You talk about wanting to step into the ring with me, see if you can hang with me. There are a lot of high hopes for you aren't there? Monday night will be your true test, to see not if you can hang with one, but walk amongst the best in the world. Instead of talking about looking up to me, prove it by showing you can hang with me in the ring on Monday night."
Beep! It's an email from Michael Lorenzo and apparently someone called him to complain at the wrong time of day... Rather than worry about who it was or what it may be over, his mind starts to process. This decision, the timing of it all, from a corner office at company headquarters to going on the road? A little too convenient.
"There's the question of why now Michael? You were sitting in your office with UTA Talent Relations and suddenly, conveniently you are on the road with us instead of letting the inmates run the asylum like Wrestleshow. I have a good guess who decided we needed a babysitter and why you're following us around. I guess Cecil has some pictures someone doesn't want to be shown or something or you'd be better served to police them."
Ron can feel the soda has done what it can and the sandman will win this match soon. He quickly powers down his computer and sets the alarm next to his bed for the morning. His head hits the pillow, he flips off the lights and only one thought goes through his mind as needed sleep beckons...
"If I'm right, you'll regret it. Stay in your office Monday Night and stay out of the ring."
"Yo momma's so fat she needs cheat codes for Wii Fit."
- Kirk Irving