The Nasty Scuffle

  • 17 Jul - 23 Jul, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

Jacob better known by his ring name, “Jake Drake,” stepped out of the high school locker room he’d used as a dressing chamber. He ran his fingers through his damp, long bleached hair. His fellow wrestlers of WOW (Warriors of Wrestling) had already returned to the hotel. As the veteran, Jake made it a habit to leave last. His stiff legs still ached from his match that night with Mega Monster Miller, but he was certainly more comfortable now wearing jeans instead of tights. He would need rest for WOW’s next show tomorrow night in the school gym.

Saturday night shows are always the best, he thought and immediately rushed after getting ready in the fear of being late.

While entering the dark hallway, Jake saw his smartly dressed manager and WOW chairman, Paul Laban, both standing by the locker room door. Even in the dim light, he could actually feel the man’s glare and was uncomfortable for a moment.

“If this is about me actually hitting you with that chair, I’m sorry,” said Jake, smiling.

Paul shook his head. “A cop came to me looking for you tonight. He gave me this.” He handed Jake an opened envelope.

Jake pulled a slip of paper from inside.

“You were supposed to be in court today in your hometown. Or did you forget your brother is suing you?”

“Paul, I was going to tell you about Caesar’s lawsuit.”

“No, you weren’t. Don’t lie to me, Jake.”

“I just need a little more time to get the money.”

“Ten-thousand dollars?” Paul sighed. “Maybe, if you were still performing for sold-out crowds in arenas. You won’t make that wrestling in high school gyms. You’re just lucky I told the cop you weren’t here.”

Jake’s gaze fell. “You were always a good friend, Paul.”

“Unfortunately, I can’t have my main event wrestler involved in a lawsuit. It’s bad publicity.”

“But Paul…”

“I’m sorry, Jake. Until this blows over, I can’t let you wrestle.”

Paul walked away,

making it clear there was no arguing with him.

Jake stood there; sealing his eyes and crumpling the subpoena in his hand as he listened to his manager’s footfalls fade in the distance.

Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. The sport can either be genuinely competitive or sportive entertainment (see professional wrestling). Wrestling comes in different types such as folkstyle, freestyle, Greco-Roman, catch, submission, judo, sambo and others. There are a wide range of styles with varying rules with both traditional historic and modern styles. Wrestling techniques have been incorporated into other martial arts as well as military hand-to-hand combat systems. Wrestling also represents one of the oldest forms of combat.

Back to what Jack was actually feeling and what was going on his mind with the ongoing tense situation that came along his way…

How long Jake stood there clenching his fists, he didn’t know. Eventually, he wandered, almost involuntarily, to a door leading to the school gym and shoved it open. His gaze rose to see the “squared circle” at the center of the room surrounded by empty bleachers. Twilight flowed through the big windows lining a wall. Jake could almost smell the blood, sweat, and tears shed in that ring. Memories of fans cheering as his theme song, “Heart of a Dragon” by DragonForce, played failed to shatter the cacophony of silence. With heavy, squeaking steps, he walked toward the ring. He climbed the steps behind a corner post, slipped through the ropes, and stood at the center of the ring.

He hung his head and closed his eyes.

Silence and darkness were keeping the room much occupied.

Jake slammed the envelope on the mat. He looked up.

“Don’t you dare take wrestling from me, God!” he shot, shaking his fist at the ceiling. “I’m not going back! I’ll…”

Suddenly, Jake felt python-like arms wrap around his neck, a sleeper hold! He gagged for breath. The hold tightened. This wasn’t for show. Instinctively, Jake lurched forward, lifting his foe off the ground, and clumsily ran backward. He slammed his attacker into the ring post. The hold loosened, and Jake slipped out.

Coughing, Jake turned to face his foe, whose face was masked by a hoodie, lying motionless against the ring post.

“Who are you? A cop? Caesar?”


Jake gritted his teeth and stomped toward him. “Start talking or I’ll….”

The mystery man sprang like a cat and grappled Jake. “Do you know who you are contending with?”

the man asked.

Jake replied by thrashing him around, struggling for control. Whoever his opponent was, he was his equal in strength and skill – real skill. No cheap theatrics here. For several hour-like minutes, Jake tried to wear down his foe, to bring him to his knees, but the mystery man’s feet seemed dug in. Jake’s muscles, still drained from his match, felt stiffer than boards.

End this now! Jake thought.

Desperately, he summoned strength he didn’t think he possessed and charged, pushing his foe against the ropes. Jake quickly wrapped and locked his arms around the mystery man, stepped back, and suplexed him.

The thud echoed throughout the empty gym.

Barely pausing to breathe, Jake wrapped his arms around his downed opponent’s neck and locked him in his own sleeper hold.

“Nice try, ‘Little Caesar,’ but this won’t get you your money.”

“I am not your brother,” retorted his foe without gagging.

With inhuman flexibility, Jake’s opponent kicked him in the head. Jake staggered back but regained his bearings and lunged at the man.

His foe thrust his fingers into Jake’s stomach. Suddenly, Jake’s muscles burned as if filled with fire. He dropped to his knees, swallowing grunts.

Slowly, Jake raised his head to look at his opponent, who now stood over him. Hot tears welled in Jake’s eyes.

“It’s time to stop running,” the hooded man said.

“Who…are you?”

“He with whom you have wrestled and overcome; and he who will bless you with reconciliation with your brother.”

“He’s suing me for every cent I have and more!” spat Jake.

“No, he means to settle accounts and forgive your debt.”

“How…do you know?”

“It was I who told him to.”

Jake tried to answer, but he lurched under a surge of pain in his leg.

“Go to him, and I promise there will be peace.”

“Fine!” shot Jake through gritted teeth. He raised his eyes to glare at his opponent – but he was gone. Jake looked around, but he was alone. Had the man…disappeared?

Jake forced himself to stand. His injured leg buckled under his weight, and he fell against the ropes. “I can’t wrestle tomorrow night, even if I wanted to.” He sighed, reaching into his pocket for his cell phone. He tapped a few buttons for a speed dial.


Massaging his leg, Jake replied, “Caesar, it’s me…”