Lew and the gang left The Claridge Hotel and made their way down the boardwalk toward the Boardwalk Hall. Along the way, they pass many excited faces to have the sea breeze blow through their hair. Some point in astonishment to recognise Lew and the crew just out and about, children pulling their parents hands to crowd them. Lew and team wave to and greet the eager fans, their thoughtful parents pulling them back as they're not wanting to pry, but are welcomed regardless.
Jordan, having to take the manager role into action after a while, raises his hand and calls for the group to continue their journey down the walkway. The children wave and smile, cheering. Screaming at the fact they met their hero, or even got an autograph.
They stop off at the Rainforest Cafe on their way to the Hall and relax. Jordan pulling out his laptop he fumbles it as Lew puts his hand over it and signals for him to put it away. Jordan shrugs and returns it.
Jordan: Alright, I'll bite. Why no laptop?
Lew: We don't need it. Like we gathered earlier, I did my research.
Jordan nods and looks at the menu.
Hayley: Right. So, what shall we discuss?
L: The match, my first match of the year. I have to make it massive. Come into this year as I came into the last.
J: What we should really discuss is what we should have for starters...cheese sticks or chicken strips?
Hayley and Lew shake their heads. Lew holds his hand out.
L: Well, clearly cheese sticks.
Hayley giggles and opens her menu.
H: I'm not sure if I'm too into eating right now.
L: Don't have to, we're just going out to chill. We may not even stay that long.
Jordan, putting his menu down.
J: So, what "research" have you conjured about your opponent?
L: Abdul bin Hussain. Reading up on him in many fan forums and such, he's a Muslim.
H: What's that got to do with the match?
J: Oh no...are you overthinking things again?
L: Hear me out. Have you heard of the Five Pillars of Islam?
The other two look at each other and shoot confused looks.
H: Again, what does this have to do with the match?
L: It will have a lot to do with my match, by proxy.
J: Lew, get to the point.
L: Alright. Being a Muslim, Abdul has to follow these basic acts or "pillars" of the religion. These consist of: Faith, Prayer, Charity, Fasting and a Pilgrimage. We can rule out a fair number of these pillars as they don't apply to my situation which is the fast and the pilgrimage.
H: Right, so how does faith, prayer and charity affect your match. More importantly, your opponent.
J: It does seem over the top thinking, but if you're onto something, go for it.
Before Lew leans forward with his point, a waiter comes over.
Waiter: Hi, there! You guys having a good day?
L: Things are good!
W: Excellent! Would you like to start off with drinks or you guys ready to order?
J: Well, I would like-
L: Just a couple of drinks would do for now. Pepsi will do.
W: Alright, I'll be back with them shortly!
The waiter walks off and Jordan scoffs.
J: Dude, we could've ordered starters, yo.
L: I need more time to decide to just be patient, right?
Jordan nods and sits back.
L: Right, onto the remaining pillars. All in all, I think it's safe to say that Abdul doesn't like any of us, considering his background and his constant pushing of his belief. Calling us "infidels". Now, when you hear that word, what do you think?
J: Well, I guess it's some sort of...insulting slur?
L: Nowhere near. It means "a person who has no religion or whose religion is not that of the majority" or more notably a "non-believer". Abdul presses unto us, most recently me, this term. However, being the kind person I am, I'd like to address to you lot and to him once we come toe to toe is that I believe in what he believes in.
H: What does that mean, you're not Muslim?
L: Of course not. But I believe in what he's trying to press onto everyone. Being an outsider, especially coming from a land which is being constantly bombarded by the current one he resides in's media. He is morally in the right to call us these things because of the pain we as a people caused to him and his beliefs. If anything, I'd want to help him spread his thoughts and beliefs throughout the UTA, however, I'm a proud infidel...believing in nothing is better than beating it into others.
The waiter comes back again.
W: Here's your drinks, are you ready to order?
J: Yes, please. Can I have cheese sticks and a bacon burger?
H: I'll stick with the Planet Earth pasta, please.
L: I'll have the Beastly Burger, please.
W: Coming, right up!
The waiter goes off again.
J: Why on earth would you want to help him push his beliefs onto the UTA? That's his job in this company, UTA loves the controversy as a media catalyst. Leave that shiz to him. Alright?
Lew kicks back in defeat and sighs,
L: I guess, just saying though.
H: Good try though, Lew. What other points you got that might make sense?
L: Heh, prayer. There are a number of prayers Muslims go through during the day in which Muslims must complete. Depending on what time our match is, a time of one of the prayers may come across. Whether or not it'll be distracting for him or not, I may have a very specific bracket of time to strike.
J: Granted that is good research, but I'm pretty sure that he'll have to go to a Mosque for that, right?
L: Not necessarily. He can perform the prayers outside of the Mosque but has to go through certain set positions for the prayer.
H: Let's just hope he doesn't pin you doing the prayer.
L: How iconic would that be.
J: Ironic, don't you mean?
H: What about the last one? Charity?
L: Ha, this is where it'll get interesting. In order to achieve purification and growth allowing balance. It should be Abdul's personal responsibility to eliminating inequality. Hense my next point. This charity is to be spent for the benefit of the poor or needy. To give back to the community from which it is taken. I am a wrestler whom people look down upon, much like Abdul looks at me. To be spared a loss by a many time champion, he should give me the win, the chance to be equal with him.
H: Whilst that's sort of visable. This is way too thought into.
Jordan, having pulled out his laptop in the time Lew explained.
J: Lew, I'm pretty sure you ripped your twisted speech from Wikipedia.
L: Again, I did my research.
J: Hardly, you've missed chunks out.
L: Well, maybe you shouldn't make me look like an idiot when I'm trying to lead meetings and stuff.
H: Ha! Oh, you guys. Look, Lew. It was a good effort, but this thought process you got going on has to stop. Let us sort it out.
L: So, my first match of the year...I'm screwed?
Walking past is a Rainforest Cafe frog mascot.
H: Don't worry, Lew. We're here for you. Just believe in yourself, Abdul bin Hussain is a powerful, incredibly experienced wrestler. You took his background and personality and used it as an excuse to build this scenario in your head that you'll overcome him with ease. To be frank, it's not like that. It won't be like that.
L: I got ya.
J: But that's no reason to seem defeated before the match, man. He's just a wrestler when he enters the ring. Outside the ring, he's off doing his thing. In the ring, you both have an equal chance of beating each other. You just gotta get on top.
Lew nods and smiles.
L: I guess so. I tried to use his strongest point against him. The reason he beats the people he does is because his religion and belief is what drives him to win. What have I got?
H: You got us.
J: And food!
They turn to look as their food turns up. Lew sheds a tiny smile and looks at his food.
ABDUL BIN HUSSAIN. I MISUNDERSTAND. MAY THE BEST WRESTLER WIN. AND MAY YOU FIND WHAT IT IS YOU'RE FIGHTING FOR. UNFORTUNATELY, IT DOESN'T START WITH ME.
"The only way Zhalia Fears or The Second Coming are getting into a ring in Japan would be carrying signs that say “Round One”."
- Alex Beckman