It's Salem Virginia. The UTA has arrived in town. The Salem Civic Center, a historic stronghold in southern wrestling is anxiously awaiting Monday night Victory. The fans are buzzing outside. The town is alive in hustle and bustle for the big event.
In the arena administration offices, we find Ron Hall. Today, he's acting in his role as minority owner of the company and handling office work that he's been wanting to leave alone. It's no surprise that it's piled up and is now going to take up most of his morning, if not all of his day. His phone is sitting next to his computer plugged in and charging. The phone calls he needed to make this morning are over with. The conference call with some in the board room is later in the day.
It's uncharacteristically quiet. Normally there is some kind of YouTube video or music from his collection playing, maybe talk radio depending on the time of day. Instead, it's stone quiet and the lights are noticeably dimmed as he sits in front of his computer sorting through some emails. There are several from the UTA's corporate office, others from fanboys the world over. There is some lingering pain in his head since that Piledriver on Monday night. It comes and goes, it comes, Ron takes something and it goes.
There is the usual pile of emails full of the outcry that Ron has somehow decided to use his pull and authority to get himself into this match and is somehow holding down younger, more deserving talent. A facepalm is the reaction, followed by biting his tounge and refusing to give in to the urge to tell the enlightened what he really wants to.
One of the emails is from his "friend" at corporate headquarters. It's an admonishment over some recent developments at a UTA house show. It's the usual line of baloney. It goes on about how his conduct was unprofessional and out of line. Never mind that Stevens came in unannounced and started the argument while Ron was trying to sign autographs. It seems a little too convient that the sender seems to know that Scott got to the arena when he was never scheduled or booked for the show.
Ron slowly rubs his temples as he starts to reply. He's slowly, aggravatingly reading his email out loud as he writes. "I don't know how he got there... Wasn't scheduled. Check facts before you open your mouth again please..." He hits send.
A video link pops up. It's to a commercial. It's for some pizza ad for Mikey Unlikely. Ron clicks on the link. One minute of video shouldn't be unbearable but this is. A loud groan emerges after what feels like an eternity. It's horribly over acted and hard to take this seriously. The question comes out as Ron writes the UTA's production and talent departments with one simple question. "That was terrible. Who's bright idea was this?"
Another email pops up. It's from his doctor, something about being dropped on his head by Stevens at Victory. It's a medical report. There's nothing in it that Ron hasn't already heard. A possible, no make that a likely concussion. Not too severe according to the initial test but Doctor is saying he doesn't want Ron to wrestle or be in strenuous activity for at least a week. That would rule out the chance at the AITH match or a potential shot at the World title. Any longer and there's a chance he could miss the All or Nothing match in a little over a week. Of course it's CC'ed to Wingate, Lorenzo and everyone else in the UTA. What was that about patient confidentiality?
Ron starts to write his doctor back and talk about wanting a second opinion when another email pops in. Ron saves the email to his draft folder and will get back to it later on. It's from the UTA training staff and Michael Lorenzo talking about how Ron needs to undergo a follow up concussion test to see if he can compete Monday night or be placed in concussion protocol and have to miss the show. He looks back at another email about Will Haynes possibly being unable to compete at All or Nothing. He shakes his head slightly. "We're wrestlers, we're supposed to be able to play hurt." He says to no one in particular.
Another email, scolding, lecturing, admonishing... All from the same "friend" at UTA HQ. This one isn't private, nope, this one has seemingly everyone who works at the office listed on it. It seems that as usual Ron's big fat over opinionated mouth got him in trouble this week... Again. They didn't enjoy it that Ron took up on a video chat for someone who wasn't all gun ho with the way things have been going. "After all this time, I thought you'd finally learned to go along with the program." To which Ron writes back, "It may be your choice, but that doesn't mean everyone is going to agree with you. Learn to take some valid criticism once in a while."
That made his head hurt. Not because of any loud noises or things like that. It's more along the lines of some things never change, no matter how long it's been or how hard you tried then or now. Almost as if on cue, the fates deliver a welcomed laugh. There is another message announcing that Cecilworth Farthington has returned to the company and he will be in the ring on Monday night. Ron smiles for a moment before he writes back and ask: "That's nice, did they ever find the ninjas who took him?"
The lingering headache is starting to hint that a break might be needed soon but undaunted, Ron pushes on, a few more emails before a needed break. A local video spot comes up. It's Kendrix, he talks about the match for 30 seconds, another 30 talking about CBR in particular and spends a minute talking about... You've guessed it, retiring Chris Hopper. Ron starts to think about calling Chris and offering him a new UTA contract but of course, a quick cursory look through the company directory reveals that while there are some numbers from forgotten talent that can still be found and likely work, Chris' seems to have vanished like a vapor trail.
The link to CBR's latest video promo is in the box but Ron's head is slowly starting to pound at this point. Ron hits the play button. The video is about three minutes long but the pain in his head gets bad as CBR keeps talking. It's no knock on CBR, a man he hasn't been able to beat yet, it's just reality. He stops for a moment and realizes that comments or a reply video are going to have to wait. This headache has to be dealt with. He puts his cpu in sleep mode. He removes his glasses and leans back in the chair. A few moments of rest should help here.... He allows his eyes to close.
To be continued
"Set Ya Alarm Clock Fer 5 AM... I'm Puttin Ya Down!"
- David Hightower