Re: Round 1: “Southern Hero” Jethro Hayes vs. “The Godfather” Vincenzo Savonarola
They Came To Me
There in a lounge built by and for the Wall Street elite;they with their sinister dinner deals; laughing and smiling about money to bemade. All over cocktails with finepedigrees. Under the din of tinklingglassware and conversation of great import, muffled by the dark comfort ofwooden walls and soft carpets, a man keeps and thinks to himself.
Legs crossed, draped in a fine suit, impeccably puttogether, Vincenzo Savonarola runs a finger about the rim of his scotch set onan end table next to him. In this cornerall alone he watches the happenings of the room. Lewd passes at professional waitresses, stressedbrokers drinking to oblivion, receding hairlines shining in the dim light.
Vincenzo glides his hand across thick, full silvering haircombed neatly back across his scalp. Tobe sure, each man of importance has their problems. Thankfully, a bald spot was not his. Thankfully, the drooping physiques andill-fitting power suits dominating the room are also not a concern. Vincenzo is quite fit, now, and always welldressed. A sip of single malt warms histhroat and mind and calms his fleeting nerves.
“They came to me…”
These words he utters ever so quietly. For, after all, there is no one he needs tohear them. He retreats back to his mind. Steely eyes reflect the events passing by,not betraying the rush of thought beneath. Like a mallard treading water.
“All the talent in the world, the youngest and the brashestof athletes. So many exotic styles, fullof vigor and excitement…yet they came to me.
“I’ve been away, longer than the times before. Sure, I’m in the best shape I have been in agreat while. But, I haven’t even had amatch in months. Not a single one sincebefore the New Year. And they came tome.”
From a black messenger’s back at his feet the Godfatherdraws out a thin portfolio. He flipsopen the cover and through the first several pages as if he’s done so a fewtimes before.
“I’ve dealt with a few of these lately. Sign this, initial that. It is quite a deal PRW made. Ace Andrews, Alex LeBlanc, Matt Caje. All formidable, certainly. Add Vincenzo Savonarola to that list and nowyou’re in the running. They came to meand it is plain to see why.”
Another absentminded sip, the turn of a page.
“Ultratitle, what it means to so many means so little tome. World renown, money. The trophies of younger men. I own them already.”
“To these men in the tournament professional wrestling istheir life; to me professional wrestling is but one mistress. A toy, a puppet on strings, a plaything tosatisfy the needs of me, the male superior.”
Vincenzo’s grip tightens upon the glass as his mind raceswith thoughts in his quiet corner.
“I am a man of the late centuries with a hand in manyhappenings. And in this event, thetournament I intend to set the puppets in motion. Dance them about the stage, the ring, by myhand.”
Steely eyes pass along the details of the Godfather’s fistmatch in the tournament.
“Jethro Hayes, can you feel the strings tight around yourwrists? Do you yet feel the tautthread? You may be unaware of yourtethers but come our meeting it will all be too apparent. Cut your strings if you dare. You will crumple under by my hand.
In the puppeteers swarthy, powerful palm the glass cracksand shatters.