The Road To Stardom – Chapter 1February 2, 2019
The following post is one in a series of entries in the #WWE2K19 blog series in which I tell the story of my WWE avatar – Mr. DeLay, The Professor. It is a work of creative fiction and does not represent any person living or dead. The only exception is the title character, Mr. DeLay. WWE is a registered trademark of WWE Enterprises and this work is merely a fictional story set within the WWE Universe.
It all starts with a dream. Each moment where we stand upon the mountaintop, extending our arms in victory towards the edge of the horizon – it starts somewhere. Each destiny, each epic tale of heroic battles through the gauntlet of obstacles and pain – it all has a place, a moment where it begins. The journey for Mr. DeLay began in a middle school gymnasium seventy eight miles from Denver in Northeast Colorado on the expansive plains that lead to Nebraska and the beyond.
He’d started work at Fort Morgan Middle School in August 2012 after graduating from the state university. He was a nontraditional teacher candidate – he’d gone back to school to finish his degree at 27 after working dead end jobs that got him nowhere but changing jobs year to year to find something that paid just a little better. Mr DeLay was 30 years old when he started teaching – he had graduated high school in 2001. None of his students had been alive when he was looking to the future as he stood with his friends, nervously wondering what the future would hold.
They always tell you your first year teaching tests your true mettle. And Mr. DeLay wouldn’t have argued the point. The first year was filled with wildly successful moments, heartbreaking failures, and so many moments of good strong learning both for him and his students. He’d left Denver to get away from the sprawl. He’d met his wife in the year he’d spent in the city of Fort Morgan. When the time came to decide to stay or go, it wasn’t a hard call. He choose to stay. Four years later, he was still there, teaching and working every day to do the best he could do for his students. Every year, teachers need to sign up to help run athletic events and the sort throughout the months ahead. Some run the gate and take the money. Others simply stand in a corner, walk around, and make sure everyone behaves themselves. Mr. DeLay had, without fail, signed up for the supervision jobs every year. And this year was no exception.
There was one date on the calendar that snagged his attention. ‘MORGAN COUNTY PRO WRESTLING’ was the name next to the date of February 6th. He shrugged his shoulders and put his name on the list to walk the halls and keep his eye out.
That fifth year went quick. Before anyone could realize, 2017 had arrived. And with it, the ‘MORGAN COUNTY PRO WRESTLING’ event. It was a Tuesday and it was bone breaking cold. Mr. DeLay had stayed to do some grading and prep work for the next day. He’d ambled down to the gym and was watching with curiosity the ring in the process of being assembled. It was fascinating. He’d watched Pro wrestling since he’d been old enough to understand the drama that played out in and around the ring. To understand what ‘HULKAMANIA’ meant. To comprehend how big Andre the Giant was. And to see the footage of those two battling it out in front of the legions of fans filled little Mr. DeLay with awe and wonder. Since coming to the school, he’d started working out, riding his bike, and doing laps at the local pool. In those five years he’d found his goal weight and felt like he was getting stronger. It was in that moment that the child inside the adult body of Mr. DeLay woke up and started poking at the adult mind. There was still that desire to be a wrestler.
Every kid has ‘that dream’. And Mr. DeLay’s had been to be a wrestler like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, or anybody that walked across the screen. He’d grown up of course, and the dream had faded. Until February 6th, 2017.
He spent the night breaking up couples trying to make out under the bleachers (he carried a high powered flashlight and a foghorn) while asking anybody who knew anything about the event how one could, “maybe, like, I don’t know, find out how this works?”, to which he was handed a flyer and told to check in with Jeremiah Pit. After scolding a skateboarder outside, he went to find Mr. Pit. He knew the man’s resume. Work in WCW, WWE, and every single independent circuit in the world had claims to his wisdom. For whatever reason, Pit had retired to Morgan County to fund a fledgling operations of his own making in hopes of finding some talent to send up the ladder to the big houses.
The action in the ring wasn’t terrible considering it was their first gig. One of the guys tore his ACL and they had to sell his loss. A Falls Count Anywhere Match was counted in the bleachers in the 9th row to raucous cheers. The women’s match drew blood and nearly had to be called on account of the stains on the ring. Everyone went home happy, and the dismantling work began.
It is here that Mr. DeLay searched for Mr. Pit, who was now nowhere to be found. He ran into Terry the Terrible who looked dejected and destroyed. “God Bless America”, he then cursed in several languages. Terry was well known for his cursing. He also had to edit himself in front of family friendly audiences.
Mr. DeLay tried to be gentle as he asked, “Mr. Terrible? I’m looking for Mr. Pit. Have you seen him?”
Terry frowned, “He’s usually out of here when the show ends. Needs to get home to his old lady. What you looking for him for?”
DeLay then hesitantly and haltingly explained his crazy and unhinged reasoning of believing that he could check things out and see if there was any way he could ever get into the thing.
Terry continued to frown but then stopped, a quiet smile crossing his face, “You know, I’ve got a crazier idea. Look, we’ve got a month before we’re back here for the sequel. I lost my stupid”, he went on a tangent of explicit language that ended with him spitting on the ground, “tag team partner to a torn ACL. There’s not a lot of folks willing to make the drive out here to do a one night show. You train with me the next four weekends, and you can step in to the ring.”
It was DeLay’s turn to frown, “You can’t be serious. It takes months to get this right. I’d be useless. I’d die!”
Terrible laughed, “Don’t panic. That’s the first rule. And don’t you worry, little missy, I’ll be running the match and do most of the fightin’. I just need someone in my corner to hold down the position of tag team partner. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Mr. DeLay didn’t stop frowning, but he considered a moment longer, “What do I need to do?”
Terry handed him a card and told him to call him tomorrow afternoon. He’d get the paperwork, the permissions, and all the fun stuff in process. “It’ll be the easiest thing since sliced bread!” Terry enthused with confidence.
“Isn’t the expression, ‘the best thing since sliced bread’?” DeLay was frowning further.
“Don’t you ‘teacher’ me, missy. You’ll have to earn your sass around here. Call me tomorrow.” And with that, Terry the Terrible slung his bag over his shoulder and ambled out, leaving Mr. DeLay wondering what had just happened. He was going to be in a tag team match in a month backing up Terry the Terrible?
He realized he’d definitely need to put his principal in the loop on this one.