The arena in Chicago was all decked out for Christmas. There were two large, elaborately-decorated trees flanking the entrance ramp. Past that was a mountain of gift-wrapped empty boxes (hey, it was just for show!), a couple of them large enough to hold a car—and by “car,” I mean Volkswagen. Or a Smart Car. Nothing any of us could get out of without the Jaws of Life.
I was headlining that night. I was finally going to have a shot at going to the top of the contenders’ list. No word from the guys on Mount Olympus as to who as going to win, but I figured it was going to be my turn. There were several new guys on the roster—like the tag team in the ring, known as the A-Holes (for the record, that was a bit of classic Truth in Advertising). We had two new girls who were meaner than any of the guys. And a guy named Dick who really was one.
“It’s like watching that scene at the end of Jurassic Park,” I told J.J. as we watched the A-Holes take on Mad Dog.
He looked at me. “Jurassic Park?” He didn’t get it. Idiot.
“Yeah, you know—the one where the two raptors take on the T-Rex. A fight to the death with nobody to cheer for,” I said. One of the A-Holes went over the top rope and hit the floor outside the ring.
“I cheered for the T-Rex,” J.J. remembered.
“You would.” I did, too. I guess being wrestlers, we’re just bloodthirsty by nature.
J.J. looked around. “Where’s Mike?”
I hadn’t thought about it until my brother mentioned it, but I hadn’t seen our other brother since before the current match started. “Maybe he’s off getting another CT scan on his brain.”
J.J. laughed at that. “Think they’ll find anything in there?”
I grinned. “Only if they draw something in.”
“I thought he’d be out here, interfering in Mad Dog’s match,” J.J. said. “He’s still out for revenge.”
“He should have known better than to take on the Rabid Rottweiler,” I said. Last week, Mad Dog had given Mike the beatdown of his life and tossed him into a garbage truck parked at the ring, Mike got taken out with the trash, and it still bugged him. “Sometimes, I think that boy doesn’t have the sense to come in out of the rain.”
J.J. grinned. “Just sometimes?” he asked.
“Okay, most of the time.”
“Only most of the time?”
“Okay…all the time,” I conceded.
J.J. elbowed me then. “Here it comes.”
I turned my attention to the ring. Mad Dog had an A-Hole in each of his meaty hands, raised high in the air. I thought he was going to body slam them, but instead, he brought them together—hard—like they were cymbals and he was playing in the high school band. Ouch!
I couldn’t help smiling at the thought of Mad Dog in high school. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, he was probably in high school at least seven or eight years, allowed to graduate only when a desperate faculty finally realized they couldn’t teach him anything. Or when he was too big for the desks, whichever came first.
The sound of the bell signaled that the match was over. Mad Dog’s hand was raised in triumph as the A-Holes were removed from the ring by paramedics. He climbed through the ropes and jumped down to the floor—I think that must have been a 4.0 on the Righter scale—and headed up the ramp, scowling at the spectators who chanted loudly, “You suck! You suck!”
What happened next took J.J. and me by surprise. It sure wasn’t in the script. As Mad Dog reached the top of the ramp, Mike busted through one of the gift-wrapped boxes and attacked. Mad Dog grabbed him and slammed him down hard, but Mike got back up again, charging him. Mad Dog grabbed him by the throat and raised him high in the air.
“Think we should get involved?” J.J. asked.
I grinned. “I think we have to.”
We ran at Mad Dog full tilt, knocking him off balance. He let go of Mike as he hit the floor. Mike slid across the ramp, slamming into Dumbo Derek, who was headed out to the ring for his match. Derek gave Mike a hard kick. Mike grabbed his ankle and tried to pull him down. When he didn’t fall, Mike bit him—hard. He howled in pain and tried to shake Mike off his ankle. Mike still wouldn’t let go. Derek kicked him again. This time, Mike let go—and slammed into Mad Dog again. Mad Dog pushed J.J. aside and reached for Mike—but I intercepted his punch and shoved him backward. He crashed into the pile of gift-wrapped boxes, completely destroying the display.
At that point, an army of black-clad security men came out, trying to break up the fight. They got knocked around a lot, but finally managed to separate us—God only knows how. Mike and Mad Dog were still hissing and growling at each other, spewing obscenities I’m sure were driving the network censors nuts.
Morty Robeson was going to have a stroke for sure this time….