Will Haynes is in the ring of what used to be the WTFC Gym. He had purchased the run down boxing club dreaming of it as a place that the guys could work out, train for upcoming matches, perfect new moves, change their styles. All away from the prying public eyes.
Except when they were invited of course.
Some dreams, they die hard. This was one of them.
The THRILL is in the ring. Working out. Old t-shirt, old red faded Champion brand gym shorts, pair of high black compression socks, and a brand new pair of workout shoes.
He's squatting, while holding a medicine ball steady above his head. His form is solid. He holds his back straight as he lowers his weight engaging his leg muscles. He fires straight up, completing the set, and dropping the medicine ball to the mat.
It lands with a thud.
The man in the ring with him encourages him. If you've seen Death Row Wrestling shows, there's a chance you'll recognize him.
Trainer: Good job, dummy. That'll do it for now. See you back here tonight for another session?
Haynes reaches for a towel draped over the top rope. He grabs it, wipes the sweat from his face, and nods his answer.
Haynes: See ya tonight.
Haynes' close friend and personal trainer exits the ring like a pro. He pulls his cell phone out of his black pull away pants and starts firing away. In a moment where he could use a friend, Haynes can't even find one from a former stablemate.
But hey, the guy has a business to run. He's been hustling since getting railroaded out of Inferno Wrestling two years ago. My how the times have changed.
Haynes reaches down and grabs a insolated water bottle, throws the top off, and gulps down half the serving at once. This work out pushed him. That's why he had called Skidd.
Skidd flew right on out. Seems he had been making a killing as a personal trainer to a lot of the tween stars that were springing up. People that you've never heard of, making money hand over fist because their good looking. Skidd's job - to keep them that way.
He had refused Haynes' payment, instead Skidd set up shop in Athens for the week. He had booked most of his sessions to students from the nearby college. Haynes had even offered him use of the gym, so he chose. UGA Football had contacted Skidd and he was doing a team workout before big bad Alabama comes to town.
Haynes slinks back into the turnbuckle, still trying to catch his breath. This is when he cocks his head to the side, and he sees it.
A welcome site post Ring King - the blink red recording light of a UTA camera. Held by a cameraman. Haynes didn't recognize this one. He'd have to introduce himself after he recorded his piece.
Haynes: I guess rumors a' my death have been greatly exaggerated. What y'all didn't think I knew who Mark Twain was? Damn, who's from the south n' ain't never read Tom Swayer.
Haynes remembers the book. Thinks about the parallels between Tom and Jim's friendship and his own with Slaw. Worlds apart but one in the same.
He thinks of the last time he saw Slaw. It was the night before he headed over to South Africa for Victory. One too many battles for a friend.
Haynes steps through the ropes, out onto the mat, and hopes down to floor. The camera following him as he begins to pack his things.
Haynes: I been doin' a lot a' thinkin' since I been gone. It's really the only thing I had t' do. A man sittin' alone with his thoughts for too long is a dangerous thing. Dangerous thing indeed.
Haynes unzips his gym bag. He's got a fresh change of clothes in there, new shoes, plus his shower kit. He takes the shower kit out. Leather bound with his initials on it. He smiles and shakes his head as he holds it.
Haynes: See this thing right here? This shower kit. Got it as a gift. Believe it or not from Em Jay. Yeah I'm talkin' Em Jay gave me this, on our three year anniversary.
A sense of nostalgia seems to have gripped the THRILL here. He closes his eyes, replaying the memory of a simpler time.
Haynes: We were twenty years old. World at our feet. I was headin' off t' some tour or another. She did some sleuthin' n' figured out that leather was the three year marriage gift. It was our three year anniversary day I let. N' she gave me this.
He holds up the ski, shaking his head. The word marriage never sat right with him. Commitment seemed so long. Back then at least.
Haynes: This is back when Em Jay was all about gettin' hitched. All she ever talked about. All anyone ever asked us. Got exhaustin' handlin' that question all the time. Lemme tell you.
The nostalgia seems to have faded just as quickly as it came. Haynes sets the shower kit aside and gets back to his message.
Haynes: I was doin' some thinkin' right, n' I realized that I needed t' get back as quick as I could. I was on the cusp a' somethin' great when I got attacked by Mikey n' that miserable old man, Eric Dane n' I wasn't gonna let all that hard work just fall by the wayside.
So I did what any smart person would do, I asked my doc t' green light some PT. I talked t' the company about how early I could come back. I did things the right way.
He stops for a second here, reaches down and unlashes his left shoe. Then hits his right. He quickly takes the shoes off and begins flexing his toes.
Haynes: Gotta let the doggies breath a' bit.
Now I'm gonna ask you a question here, n' ya gotta keep in mind this is really important t' the whole scheme a' things now that I'm back. Ya gotta remember that. Here goes:
You have any idea how hard it is t' recovery from surgery when you're not takin' pain pills?
He lets the question hang in the air.
Haynes: It's hard. Hard as hell.
So naturally my recovery was delayed, so naturally when I went t' workout for Doctor Emo, who is a stand up guy lemme tell ya, I fell short. I wasn't myself. I ended up gettin' hurt again.
But I battled, cause I'm a fighter y'all. I think I proved that this past year. N' I fought every single day. In the ring n' out. I clawed, got dirt under my nails n' I got back to where I needed t' be - n' that's in the UTA ring.
Haynes nods his head, confident in his recovery. Confident in his skills. He's feeling like his pre Ring King self except better. Which is bad news for anyone, ANYONE who crosses him.
Haynes: N' it's so good t' be back, Eminem had that right, lemme tell ya.
I can't wait t' finally give Mikey what he deserves. I can't wait t' finally pop that little zit once n' for all. Make him answer for all the hell he's put me through.
Ya know how I said I had been doin' alot a' thinkin' in the hospital? Well most a' it has been about two folks in the UTA. First, there's Eric Dane. Droppin' me on my head, startin' this whole weary chain a' events. I've pictured me pinnin' that blue hair for his undeserved World Title at least half a million times. If not more. It's a beautiful sight, lemme assure you.
N' the second, n' this one folks comes as no surprise, has been me stealin' the Backstory n' making Mikey tap out. Imagine that.
He closes his eyes, replaying the image in his head. An ear to ear smile on his face. A shit eating grin some would say.
Haynes opens his eyes. He takes off his socks now, balling them up and putting them inside of his shoes. He reaches into the bag and out comes a pair of black slip on Jordan sandals. He slides his feet into them.
Haynes: Sad to say only one a' them has a shot at happenin' on Victory.
Haynes shrugs his shoulders. He's getting to the end now. He stands and tosses the bag over his shoulder, pausing briefly to pick his shoes up and toss them in the bag. Although no one else is in the gym, he doesn't want to leave his things milling about.
Haynes: Mikey, I hope you're happy. Happy with what you become. Happy with what you've done. You ain't gonna have t' answer t' me, oh no, no. I ain't gonna judge you. Someone will get t' that much later. Me?
All I'm gonna do.
Is beat you.
The camera turns off.
"Draw your line in the sand woman I've made a career crossing every single one put infront of me!"
- Bronson Box