Diamond In The Rough

I finished my hotdog and threw my trash away. I wiped my hands. It was a beautiful May afternoon, sunny without a cloud in the sky. Perfect for an outdoor wrestling match. The sounds of the carnival the match would take place at. I looked at the empty wrestling ring set up. Since I was still training Travis hasn’t let me debut for his promotion yet. However, wanting to give his trainees a taste of wrestling in front of a crowd, he and other wrestling schools set up matches during carnivals and street fairs.

My opponent was someone in my algebra class last school year. Gunner Jefferson who wrestles simply as Gunner. He was five foot three with short blonde hair and blue eyes. He was standing by the ring, tugging at the ropes. Having some time before the show started I walked over to him.

“ Hey man, what’s going on?” I asked giving him a fist bump.

“ Hey Josh how you doing?” He asked with a smile. He was wearing a gray t-shirt that had a few wrestlers from Global Championship Wrestling, one of the most prestigious and biggest wrestling promotions in the world. It was the promotion that got me into wrestling when I was five years old.

I still remembered the first match of theirs I watched was Brandon Foreman vs Jaxson Hendricks for the World Heavyweight Championship. Both men were hall of famers having won multiple championships over their long careers. I could only hope my career would be half as good as theirs.

“ You ready for this?” Gunner asked.

“ Yeah man, you’re sure you don’t mind putting me over?”

“ Not as long as you return the favor at some point,” Gunner said with a grin.

“ Naturally,” I said, returning the grin.

“ You get your school schedule yet?” Gunner asked changing the subject.

“ Yeah. I’m guessing you did too.”

“ Yeah, I’ve got Hook for Algebra again,” he said making a face “ I can’t stand her.”

I tsked sympathetically. Ms. Hook was an infamous teacher for being unnecessarily tough and seemed to enjoy failing students.

“ I’ve got Newman. Guess I lucked out.”

“ Lucky. Wish I could trade.”

“ Even if you could, there isn’t an offer you could make that I would accept to get Hook as a teacher.”

“ I suppose I can’t fault you there. This summer flew by fast didn’t it? Feels like the Fourth of July was yesterday. Now we gotta go back in a few days.”

“ Don’t remind me,” I said with a groan and a roll of the eyes. We talked for a little bit longer then went our separate ways to get ready for the match. We, of course, didn’t have a dressing room and had to change in the public restroom. Yeah, I really don’t want to get into how lousy the accommodations were. Once I changed into my black shorts and black sleeveless under armor I went to the “ backstage area.” Really it was just a trailer barricade off from anyone who may take an entrance with a shower curtain set up where we would make our entrance.

A small crowd of people had stopped by to watch the small event. Travis’ Wrestling school was well known in the state of Montana. After a brief introduction from Travis, Gunner’s theme, Last Resort by Papa Roach played over the speaker. Gunner, dressed in a pair of bright green shorts got in the ring and started playing to the crowd. After his music died down, my music took the place of his. I came out through the curtain, played to the crowd, and got in the ring so the bell could sound.

We locked up for a few moments before Gunner put me in a headlock. I pushed him against the ropes and sent him on his back with a shoulder bump. I hit Gunner with an elbow drop to his chest. I put Gunner in a headlock of my own but he managed to fight out of it, got up and kicked me right in the chin. Gunner picked me up, whipped me into the corner, hit me with a clothesline, and followed it up with a dropkick.

He licked me up against and hit me with an Impaler DDT then went for a cover. The referee began his count.

“ One, two-”

I kicked out right at two and got to my feet. I hit Gunner with a Discus Clothesline which Gunner sold perhaps a little too much by doing a flip as he fell. But that got a few people to take notice so I didn’t mind it too much. I picked Gunner up and threw him out of the ring. I stood on the apron as Gunner got to one knee and hit him with a curb stomp. A collective “ oooh!” Came from the still building crowd. I gave a slight bow to the crowd and decided to give Gunner time to recover.

“ You guys having a good time?” I asked with a big smile on my face which got a few cheers.

I turned around to be rammed into the steel barricade by Gunner. He hit me with multiple shoulder thrusts before throwing me into the ring post. Gunner threw me back in the ring and followed me before the referee counted to ten. Gunner went to the top rope and hit me with a Senton which popped the crowd. Gunner went for another cover but I kicked out at two and a half.

Gunner helped me to my feet but I head-butted him, causing him to back up. I turned him around and hit him with a waistlock lariat. I went for the cover but only got a two count. I waited for Gunner to stand up, ran past him, bounced against the ropes and went to knee Gunner on the back of the head but he rolled out of the way. I turned around to a rolling cutter from Gunner.

That would have been the match had my foot not landed on the ropes. Gunner hauled me to my feet and went for another rolling cutter. I pushed him away and hit a Hangman’s neck breaker. Instead of going for the cover, I waited for Gunner to stir, once he got to his knees, I ran past him, bounced off the ropes, and kneed him in the back of the head then went for the cover. The referee began his count.

“ One, two, three.”

I stood up as my music played as the small gathering of onlookers clapped and cheered. I helped Gunner up and we raised each other’s hands as the fans cheered politely. We both went to the back together where Tavis met us with a big smile on his face. He gave Gunner a big hug then gave me one as well. He held big our faces in his hands.

“ You two did great! Look at you, turning into young budding stars. I couldn’t be more proud”

Brooklyn slugged my shoulder “ you jerk! How am I supposed to follow that?”

“ You can't,” I said with a smug grin.

Brooklyn slugged my shoulder again and went to get ready for her match. I grabbed a bottle of water, took a big drink, and poured the rest on my head. I know I have a long way to go but after the match I just had, I’m starting to think I can do this.