Chapter 3 – The Fire in Her Heart
Riverdale Drive, Yonkers
Non-television taping for La Fiesta’s special:
El Fuego en su Corazón
Doors open 7pm / Bell time 8pm
“Bienvenido, Jen!” promoter Señor Raul Juanez said.
Jen just walked into the venue after her team dispersed. The two embraced. She wasn’t accustom to cheek to cheek kissing.
“Thanks for having us,” she said.
“The pleasure is all mine,” he said with a smile. “Let’s go into my office and discuss tonight’s matches.”
Raul lead the way to a staircase that spiraled up to a balcony. Jen followed and looked at the artwork on the walls. Some walls depicted wrestlers and luchadors. Others depicted masked dancers twirling on poles and in cages. Raul named his go-go nightclub and sports bar La Fiesta. Even the music lightly pumping from the speakers made Jen want to groove. Jen noted that Raul’s hips started to sway with the music. Maybe she should loosen a bit?
The two made it to his office. He offered her a chair and likewise they sat. Raul pulled a clipboard with clamped papers from under his seat. Scribbles of notes and doodles graced the margins on the worn paper. Raul slightly glanced at the paper. “Let’s start with Zemi DeMarx.”
“Oh,” Jen interjected, “he’s not wrestling tonight.”
“Why? He’s the only one that showed initiative to bring his name to the forefront. All your competitors feel stiff—cómo se llamas—cardboard. If you don’t want him, we can surely make a trade.” A mischievous smile pulled at his lips and twinkled in his brown eyes. Raul pushed late forties, but his skin and physique didn’t age from a young thirty. He still kept his salt and pepper hair and full rows of white teeth.
Jen shook her head, “He’s not leaving.”
“Is that because you intend to punish him for pure frustration? I’ve watched your product. I’m only fond of him and recently fond of Lexi. You have something magical with those two.”
“Let’s talk about Lexi and winning the woman’s title from Sophia Rose,” Jen said.
“You strike quick when your back is against the wall,” Raul chuckled. “If Lexi wins do you have plans for her? What will she do with our belt?”
“Lexi will defend it. We will offer you a rematch to get it but it won’t transfer back just yet. I plan to expand our horizons. Let us take it to GGW.”
“No. We will not pass the Femme Fatale belt around. I don’t mind if we have an agreement of several matches back and forth. But I will not extend this agreement to GGW. I did it once, won’t ever again. So my next question: Why doesn’t Spearhead Wrestling have their own female title?”
“Lonnie never thought of one,” Jen said.
“But wouldn’t it be your duty to create one.”
“We don’t have enough women.”
“You mean enough excuses,” Raul said. “Let’s move on,” waving his hand, “Sophia Rose is retaining the belt. I saw Kross came with you. I want him to join Los Trío. It’ll be a four man team with the gold.”
“Quick answer. I have a mixed tag match for the night. Sadie and Anoka would be perfect.”
“That’s fine. They need it. Who are their opponents?”
“La Luna y El Sol.”
“This seems about all the time I have. I need to prep my guys. Gracias, Raul.” Jen tried out the little Spanish she knew. She extended her hand. Raul accepted and shook.
Lexi Lovehart walked passed ring crew and entered the door for backstage. The door shut behind her and she slowly crept around. Spanish wrestlers mostly competed at La Fiesta. La Fiesta gives the performers more ring time than Spearhead Wrestling. Lexi searched for Sophia Rose. Lexi didn’t know how to speak or understand the Spanish language. Luckily, Sophia Rose knew English well enough. However, Lexi didn’t know if Sophia learned English or Spanish first. Every conversation Lexi and Sophia had, a small Spanish accent would loop around Sophia’s words. Lexi turned another corner and finally found Sophia Rose. Sophia sat on the floor, with legs spread, and body angled to the side while she pulled back the tips of toes. Lexi slyly joined her.
“Thanks for attacking me on my home turf,” Lexi said to Sophia.
“De nada, chica,” Sophia replied.
Lexi raised an eyebrow. “Spanish talk?”
“Si,” Sophia said.
“Fine, as long as you understand what I’m saying and I can just shrug my shoulders like I understand—great!” Lexi paused. “About tonight. I’m coming for your championship. You don’t disrespect my company or myself like that. You deserve your belt taken away.”
“Muchacha,” Sophia started. She stopped stretching and looked Lexi in the eye. “You threaten a lot of people. You speak too much. Your ability in the ring isn’t on the same level as me. But I’ll give you your talk and your ability to impress in the ring. Just know that this title belt doesn’t jump from promotion to promotion. It’s petty that your federation doesn’t have a title belt for their women. Instead of talking mierda, start asking questions to your lazy promoter Jen Walters.”
“And that ends that,” Jen said, leaning on the corner. Both ladies looked up. Jen said, “Lexi, may we speak about tonight?”
Lexi stood and walked with Jen into the hall. When out of earshot, Jen turned to Lexi. “I know we don’t like each other but there’s one thing I need you to do for me.” Jen paused, searching Lexi’s eyes a moment. Lexi waited for Jen to continue. “Knockout Sophia Rose, get the title, and we’ll have the car on standby for a quick exist. I wanted you to win the title, but Raul decided against it. But we are going to take it by force,” Jen explained.
“Say no more,” Lexi agreed.
La Fiesta reached capacity. The crowd cheered and screamed wildly. Almost all had ordered way to many drinks. Most swayed and slurred their chants. Some purchased merchandise. In the ring stood two tag teams.
“The tag team to my right,” ring announcer Carlos Garcia started. “Hailing from San Juan, California at a combine weight of 325 pounds, El Sol y La Luna!” He paused while the team posed. El Sol bent on one knee. La Luna placed one foot upon the bended knee and flexed off her muscles in a round circle. El Sol flexed his muscles upward. The crowd cheered and then cursed at the American team.
“The tag team to my left,” ring announcer Carlos Garcia spoke again. The crowd spewed gringo chants. Anoka side eye everyone. “Hailing from Wolf Basin, Montana and weighing in at 200 pounds this is Anoka Creek!” Still more booing. Anoka walked to the middle of the ring, in front of the main camera. He dragged his thumb across his neck. He then walked back to the corner besides his tag partner. “And his tag team partner, hailing from Hells Dungeon and weighing in at 145 pounds this is Sadie Vampyra!” Sadie leaned against the second rope and looked out into the crowd. She didn’t do a special pose yet. She cared about fighting. As much as the Spearhead Wrestling crowd loved her, she knew improvement had to happen. Maybe this crowd would love her too if she had a cool pose.
Anoka placed his hand on Sadie’s shoulder. Anoka pointed to La Luna, who begged to faced Sadie. Sadie nodded. Referee Andrew Lopez called for the two ladies to start in the middle. Then he signaled for the bell to ring.
La Luna quickly pounced for a collar and elbow tie-up. Sadie hesitated but fell into the groove. La Luna’s grip intensified. Sadie panicked and kicked at La Luna’s knee. La Luna’s grip broke and stumbled. Sadie wrapped her arm around La Luna’s head and drove it down in the mat. Sadie then covered La Luna. Referee Lopez started his count and only reached a two. Sadie kept La Luna grounded with a front headlock. La Luna got to one knee, but didn’t get to vertical base yet. She hooked her hand onto Sadie’s pants and flipped Sadie over. Sadie released her headlock hold on La Luna. La Luna quickly covered Sadie. Referee Lopez jumped into position and started his count. Sadie kicked out at two. La Luna punched Sadie before tagging in her partner, El Sol. The referee slapped his hands and called, “Tag!” He knelt besides Sadie to let her know to tag out to Anoka. Sadie rolled once and then stood. She slapped Anoka’s offering hand. Anoka entered the ring as Sadie stood on the apron.
El Sol started with a grapple but Anoka kicked him. El Sol fell to his knees with a cough. Anoka under hooked El Sol’s arms and tossed him back on the mat. Anoka then hooked both his legs for the cover. Before referee Lopez could count, El Sol pushed Anoka off him. El Sol rolled, but not far. Anoka grabbed El Sol, brought him to his feet and connected with forearms to the side of his neck. El Sol took the attacks. El Sol then waved off Anoka’s thick arms, soon beginning his own flurry of slaps across Anoka’s body. Anoka backed up in defense. Anoka hit the corner turnbuckle.
“Get him out of the corner,” referee Lopez told El Sol.
Anoka then pushed El Sol back. El Sol rolled and Anoka swiftly kicked El Sol in the face. El Sol landed on his back, dazed, and almost knocked out. Anoka ran to the ropes, using the spring to propel his speed. When close enough, he flipped in the air with his back crashing upon El Sol. Anoka then covered El Sol. Referee Lopez jumped in and started counting. El Sol kicked out at two. Anoka picked up El Sol. El Sol wobbled. Anoka then chop block El Sol on top of his head. His body shook. He tensed up, scrunching up his face in agony. Anoka did the move again. El Sol fell to the mat. Anoka went for the cover but El Sol grabbed Anoka’s arm. He wrapped his legs around Anoka’s head and pulled his locked arm further. Anoka became trapped in a triangle choke.
Referee Lopez knelt beside them. “Anoka, do you want to give up?” he asked.
“No,” Anoka said with a deep voice.
His breath weighted heavy with each inhale and exhale. El Sol wrenched tighter on the hold. Anoka slowly gathered his balance. He hooked his large hands around El Sol’s thighs. He heaved himself up quickly, bringing El Sol into the air, and slamming him back on to the mat. El Sol almost lost his grappler grip. Anoka tried one more time despite his lower back throbbing. This time El Sol’s grip completely broke. Anoka laid down on him for the cover. La Luna entered the ring and double drop kicked Anoka at the side of his head. She broke up the count.
“What are you doing La Luna? You’re not legal!” Referee Lopez scold.
La Luna dragged El Sol to her corner. Anoka shook his head remaining on one knee. El Sol tagged his partner in. Anoka did the same. Sadie came into the ring. La Luna looked to start with a basic headlock. Instead, Sadie ran with a start and slide into La Luna. La Luna side stepped and from the side held Sadie in place for a couple of knee strikes. Sadie, caught of guard, tried to capture a kicking leg and when she did, Sadie spun La Luna to the mat. La Luna’s breath left her, slightly dazed. Sadie bridged into a pin. Referee Lopez started his count. La Luna kicked out at two. La Luna then wrapped her legs around Sadie’s neck. Sadie kicked her legs and rolled her hips to try squirming out. La Luna tighten her grip. She then reached over and landed punches to Sadie’s side. Referee Lopez reminded La Luna about open handed strikes. La Luna yelled at the referee in Spanish. Soon, La Luna released the head scissors on Sadie. La Luna hooked a DDT on Sadie and dropped down. She sprung up, ran to the ropes and climbed to the top. She flew in the air with a shooting star press. La Luna connected with the move, splashing upon Sadie. Sadie’s breath withdrew and her eyes closed. La Luna covered Sadie.
“1…2…3,” Referee Lopez counted. “Ring the bell!” The bell sounded.
“And the winners of the tag team match are La Luna and El Sol!” announcer Carlos Garcia said.
Their music blared through the speakers. They posed and the referee raised both their hands in victory. Anoka went to check on Sadie. La Luna knocked Sadie out. Anoka rolled Sadie out of the ring, then carried her on his shoulder. Both walked to the back defeated. The crowd didn’t help. They continued to chat gringo at Anoka and Sadie all while cheering the winners La Luna and El Sol.
El Trío stood in the ring. They all held the golden belts high. The crowd cheered for them.
El Tigre: the man with the large tiger mask, the body of a buffalo, and holding the World Fiesta Heavyweight Championship stood on the left.
El Tigre Jr.: the man with a small tiger mask, the body of young lion, and holding the Super Fiesta Junior-weight belt stood in the middle.
Alas Místicas: the man with the wings mask, the body of a lean gazelle, and holding the Future Fiesta Star Television belt stood on the right.
El Tigre broke from the pack with microphone in hand. “Cómo estas, mis amigos!”
The crowd cheered. “Mis amigos! We conquered La Fiesta and other indie promotions. There’s no other worthy opponents. Not even wrestlers from Spearhead Wrestling.”
The crowd booed.
“We don’t want to fight tonight. We’re looking to expand. I’m gonna call out a certain champion.” El Tigre paused. “Señor Vincent Kross, por favor come to the ring.”
The crowd became perplexed. Some cheered; others booed; and the rest chanted gringo. Vincent Kross theme song echoed through the speakers. Vincent Kross stood at the main stage with belt in hand. He stood tall with his chest puffed out. He walked with a proud gait down the ramp. The belt strap dragged along his side. He then entered the ring. He remained at the ropes just in case for a quick exit. All three men eyed Kross like a prey. For once Kross felt unease. He didn’t know their true intentions. Despite Kross being tall, he didn’t have huge muscle mass like El Tigre or little muscle mass like Alas Mistica but in between muscle mass like El Tigre Jr.
“Amigo, amigo,” El Tigre said, waving his hand to beckon Kross over.
Kross slowly crossed the space between them. El Tigre reached out his hand and placed it on Kross’ shoulder. “You’re a great champion. But your company Spearhead Wrestling is holding you back. We—El Trío—looked at your matches. We are impressed. We are true to our beliefs. We are true to our decision. Come, and join the toughest trío around. We need and want to align ourselves with winners.” El Tigre held out his hand.
Vincent Kross narrowed his eyes. He then lifted the belt high. “I like the sound of that. I like to dance with winners. But how do I not know this is a trap.”
“No trap. We have honor.”
Kross examined El Tigre and the other two for a bit before slowly raising his hand to shake El Tigre’s.
“AAAAADDDDDOOOONNNIIISSSSS!!!!” blared through the speakers. Vincent Kross growled. He grew tired of the pest. El Trío didn’t know this intruder interrupting. In a flash, Zemi DeMarx jumped the guardrail, slid into the ring, and snatched the title belt from Kross. He safely slid out of the ring on the other side. He held the belt with protection. He shook his head, that smirk gracing his lips. He gestured for the microphone. El Tigre passed Zemi his microphone.
Kross sighed. He walked to the ropes, extended his hand, and yelled, “Give me the belt.”
“You don’t deserve this title back,” Zemi started. “You would align yourself with the Mariachi of Wrestling?! Then to defend our beloved Spearhead Wrestling?” Zemi paused, looking at the title. The plates gleamed gold as if Kross just shined them. The large plate in the middle depicted the World with a banner that surrounded it with the inscription of Spearhead Wrestling. The smaller side plates on either side of the black strap of the belt had VK. Vincent Kross didn’t have the creative genius like Zemi DeMarx. And as Zemi held the belt in his hand, jealousy tingled his body. Jealousy for not having what he wanted. The gold under his fingers felt fake, like a replica. Weight didn’t exist in Zemi’s hand. Zemi looked up, eyes burning with disgust. He slid into the ring, quickly getting up and shoving the belt into Vincent Kross’ face.
“You’re an imposter,” Zemi said. “I challenge you for your title at Spearhead Wrestling’s next television taping in a cage match!”
The crowd cheered for Zemi. Zemi felt different, stopped himself from a cheesy smile. Heels smirk; heels don’t cheesy smile.
Zemi didn’t wait for an answer. He swung the belt close to his Kross’ face. Kross went down. Zemi leaned over him, belt still in hand. “Imposter,” he said gently. He then threw the belt down. He rose slowly, anger flaring his eyes and nose. His fists were clenched. He eyed the Mariachi of Wrestling. Pointing to Vincent Kross he said again, “Imposter.” Then Zemi left the ring.
The Fem Fatale Woman’s Championship match closed out the show. Lexi Lovehart stood in the ring. Her hair pinned as two long ponytails. She wore a tight crop top and leggings with her wrestling boots.
A Spanish instrumental song blared through the speakers. “Making her way to the ring,” Carlos Garcia said over the ear-deafening cheers, “hailing from Union, Mexico City and weighing 147 pounds, she is your Femme Fatale Woman’s Champion, this is Sophia Rose!”
Lexi couldn’t hear her own thoughts. Her heart raced, a pesky moral complex she pushed behind her mind. Heels didn’t overthink like babyfaces. Heels did as told and whatever they wanted. The ringing of the bell snapped Lexi from her thoughts. Sophia and Lexi collar and elbow tie-up. Sophia pushed Lexi to the other corner. Referee Guzman tapped Sophia on her side and told her to break the hold. “Bring the fight back in the middle,” he said with a heavy accent.
Sophia broke the collar and elbow tie-up and chopped Lexi across the chest. Lexi curled her arm in as a shield against her chest. Sophia Rose backed up. Lexi gritted her teeth, walked back to the middle. They collar and elbow tie-up again, and Lexi quickly hip tossed Sophie Rose onto her back. Then hold broke giving Lexi freedom to drop a couple of knees to Sophie’s shoulder. Sophie grunted from the pain. After three knee drops, Sophie rolled from the next knee strike. She then quickly rolled back and kicked Lexi on the side of her head. Lexi didn’t block; didn’t see it. Lexi fell to the mat. Sophie wrapped her legs around Lexi’s neck. She applied pressure to her headlock scissors hold. Lexi’s breath became shorter. Lexi’s hand clawed at Sophia’s boots. Her drawing breath kept shortening. Sophia then turned over, her arms extended holding her up in a pushup position. Sophia continued to hold her headlock scissors move while she drove Lexi’s head into the mat repeatedly. Sophia twisted Lexi back and went for a cover. Referee Guzman started his count. Lexi kicked out at two, her breath ragged. Sophia Rose picked Lexi up into a front headlock and prepared for her signature suplex Tres Amigas. Sophia placed Lexi’s arm around her own neck and grabbed Lexi’s leggings. Sophia tried popping her hips to suplex Lexi. Lexi hooked her leg on Sophia’s calf. Lexi started to punch Sophia’s side multiple times. Sophia’s grip loosened. Lexi grabbed Sophia’s tights, hoisted her up and slammed her front body first onto the mat. Lexi rushed to the top rope, somersaulted off into a beautiful moonsault. Her heart raced. Never perfected the move until her adrenaline hit. Lexi covered Sophia, lifting her leg for extra leverage. Referee Guzman dropped down and started counting. Sophia kicked out at two. Frustrated, Lexi didn’t scream. She swallowed that scream and tantrum.
She needed to finish this.
She needed to taste victory.
She needed to hold gold.
She needed to prove herself.
Lexi quickly hammered Sophia’s head with punches before sitting her up and running to the ropes. Lexi sprung from the ropes with a sharp quickness. She leaped forward bending her knee and smacking it straight into Sophia’s face. Sophia collapsed back onto the mat. Lexi scrambled over to cover.
“1…2…3…!” Guzman, in shocked, signaled for the bell.
“Yes!” Lexi yelled and raised her own hands. The crowd booed and started to rush the ring. Their champion defeated by a gringo.
Lexi rushed to grab the Femme Fatale belt. She ran for the nearest exist. Hopefully, Jen Walters grabbed her bags. Lexi made it backstage and busted through the EXIT doors. The car peacefully hummed. Zemi DeMarx opened the door for Lexi. Lexi jumped in. “Go! Go! Go!” Jen drove off.
Heels always get what they seek.
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