Chapter Ninety Six
Sunday May 11th, 2010: Early Night
Valley View Sports Center: DWL Featherweight Championship Match
Randy stood by Marcos’ side straight up to the point of his match. His buddy hopped from one foot to the other as he became more and more loose. “It is now time for the DWL Featherweight Championship Match and it is scheduled for best two out of three falls.” Penelope started. “I can’t believe this match you have coming up between you and the former champ.” Randy stated. “I know, right?!” Marcos replied. He rested his head against the steel doors as the booming cheers from the crowd vibrated the metal.
“San Diego’s own lucha libre master. He weighs in at one hundred and seventy two pounds.” “Wow, you gained weight.” “Pssh, shove off!” Marcos replied. They both laughed, fist bumping all the while. “He is the reigning DWL Featherweight Champion, Marcos ’The Cheetah’ Gonzales!” “Good luck bro.” Randy said to him. “Thanks homes and good luck to you on the heavyweight match tonight.” Randy nodded at him and then Marcos burst into the arena. The way that the crowd cheered for him seemed intense. Randy wanted to watch the match so badly that he snuck through the steel doors and found a stool behind a gap between two fake palm trees.
So he pulled the stool up and watched on. It was a perfect view, diagonal from the right ring post. Marcos had climbed up to the top rope and front flipped off, landing perfectly on his feet. “That’s right dude, sell it to the crowd!” As he sat there watching, that familiar cooling feeling touched his left arm. “What’s up Mom?” Randy whispered. Sure enough, Diana was sitting next to him in her own ghostly stool. “Oh you know, just watching over my baby before, during and after his big match. Your father is so proud of you as are your grandparents.” “You spoke to them?” Randy turned and saw Diana nodding. “Damn. I wish Dad could be here.” “Well he’d love to be here right now, but he’s busy at the moment. You know, he’s up there talking to all those great war heroes and speaking to his father…” “It’s great to know that he’s too busy to see his own son in his biggest match.” Randy interrupted her.
“Well I…” Diana tried to talk but Randy just waved her off. “Please Mom, I’d just like to watch the match now.” “O-Okay.” she said. “Ladies and gentlemen, the DWL Featherweight Title is in fact, on the line. I am Paul Brookes and this is my partner, John Parker. How do you think Marcos will favor against the former champ, Nolan Mira?” Paul asked. “To be honest Paul, I think Marcos has his work cut out for him. Nolan has been on a hot winning streak as of late with a win to loss ratio of twenty to zero. The odds of Marcos defeating this streak are one in a million by my book.” John replied.
The bell rang and Marcos was in the ring with Nolan, circling around. Nolan and Marcos both locked up and then Nolan shoved Marcos into the corner. “It seems that the former champ has bulked up a bit since last time he fought Marcos. Look at the way the current champ is just staring at him, despite the fact that we can’t see his face.” John said. “I hear what you’re saying partner. Nolan has definitely been hitting the gym, but from what I hear, so has young, Randy Rodriguez.” Paul replied.
Marcos saw Nolan sprinting at him full force, and hit him with a drop toe hold, slamming Nolan’s face into the middle turnbuckle. Marcos then dragged Nolan to the center of the ring and locked on a one legged Boston Crab. “It seems as if Nolan is in a lot of pain, from the pressure being applied by Marcos. If you remember, Nolan has had surgery on both knees multiple times in his career.” Paul said. Nolan wasn’t giving up, but his hands were shaking. Randy knew he was in pain due to the way his mouth was agape.
“He’s gotta be feeling the effects of this lasting hold by now. I’ve never seen anyone turn such a simple submission move into an obvious subjective form of pain.” John said. Marcos didn’t realize that Nolan was reaching for the ropes and was too late to react, when Nolan got the rope break. Marcos let go with a clean break, and had his hands in the air. Just as soon as Nolan tried to get up, Marcos hit him with a chopping block, dropping his opponent back down to the mat. He then began dropping his elbow hard into Nolan’s knee, over and over.
The way that Nolan flailed his arms assured Randy that Marcos was wrestling perfectly. “His knee has got to be hyper extended by now; DEAR GOD DID THAT LOOK NASTY!” Paul yelled. Marcos had just dropped Nolan knee first into an exposed turnbuckle, causing him to fall and scream in agony. “That looks so ugly!” Diana stated. “I know right?! It’s absolutely repulsive, but awesome!” Randy replied. “You know, I never did really get into this sport. I went to the events since your father was so into it, but he knew I didn’t approve of such a barbaric activity.”
“Bar…Barbaric? Meh! You just can’t understand pure athleticism when it stares you in the face.” Randy replied. “Oh stop it you!” Diana playfully shoved Randy which formed those similar goose bumps. “I wish I could hug you.” she said. “You can touch me though. How come you can’t hug me?” Diana tilted her head a bit and then shook it in return. “I have mental strength to touch but not the emotional strength to hug you. I don’t’ want to hurt you anymore than you’re already hurting.” “Can I at least put my arm around you Mom?”
“Of course you can. By all means, do so.” He smiled at her and put an arm around her spectral shoulders and could feel some type of warmth emanating off of her. She reached up and held his hand. She had tears running down her face, but they were unseen by Randy who had returned his gaze to the match at hand. Nolan had Marcos on top of the ropes and superplexed him, slamming him hard onto the mat. He then turned it into a pinning move, and Marco nearly lost the first pinfall.
“God, that was close.” Randy muttered. Marcos went to stand up when Nolan stomped down hard onto his face. Randy began to get scared, as Marcos began to twitch. “Something’s wrong with the champ.” John said. Nolan didn’t pay attention because he stomped Marcos’ head again and again.” “Someone has to stop this man; stop this match.” Paul said. Randy could feel his heart shattering from the way his friend was being punished. He couldn’t take it anymore so he got up and sprinted out from behind the veil, into earth shattering cheers from the crowd.
“It seems as if Marcos’ friend has come to his rescue. Randy was dressed already and his mask fell onto the ramp, but he didn’t care. He slid into the ring, and grabbed Nolan’s head, immediately dropping, forcing his head face first into his shoulder. Nolan then passed out and the bell rang. “The referee has decided to end this match!” Penelope yelled. Randy immediately rushed over to Marcos who wouldn’t stop shaking. He ripped the mask off of him, and saw froth pouring from his mouth and blood dripping from his ears and nose.
“Oh my god…” Paul whispered. “Hey, buddy?! I’m here; it’s me, Randy. I’m here for ya dude.” Marcos’ head wouldn’t stop shaking but he was able to lift an arm up, in which Randy grabbed his hand. Marcos gripped tightly onto the hold and then a nasty gurgling sound escaped him as blood began to mix with the froth. “Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t know what’s going on here. It appears EMT’s are coming to the ring now.” Paul stated. Randy cleared the froth and spit away and tried to help his friend breath. Marcos hand began to shake a bit and more gurgling sounds escaped his mouth.
He looked up at Randy and then his head dropped and shortly thereafter, his chest stopped moving. “M-M-Marcos?” Randy asked him. “Excuse me sir, we need to get him…” One of the EMT’s was speaking but stopped as he checked Marcos’ pulse. “There’s no pulse, get me a defibrillator stat!” the red haired man yelled. A small, Latina EMT nodded and broke out the emergency defibrillator unit which the red headed male turned on. “Clear!” He yelled and shocked Marcos’ chest. He put a stethoscope to his chest afterwards then administered another shock.
“Clear!” he yelled, and shook his head after checking the pulse. He tried mouth to mouth but it didn’t work either. “One more shot; clear!” Marcos’ body jolted, but his heart wouldn’t start. “He’s gone…” the red head stated. This news caused Randy’s heart to break into millions of pieces. Mr. Lawrence had come to the ring alongside Samantha who started to break into horrifying wails of crying and heartbreak. She had tears streaming down her cheeks as the EMT’s put a sheet over Marcos’ body. “What the hell happened?!” Mr. Lawrence asked. “I was out back, watching the entire match, sir. Nolan here kept stomping Marcos over and over again, even after he began shaking.” Randy said.
“You saw this?!” Randy nodded. “After he started to shake, after the first blow that is, I saw that Nolan wasn’t stopping so I ran in to stop him myself, but it was too late.” “Come here boy.” Mr. Lawrence stated. He helped Randy to his feet and then guided him back up the ramp. “Well we have just received an update, as you all have seen. But if you were away from the television screen, then here’s a recap. Marcos Gonzalez, a.k.a. The Cheetah, has just passed away during his Featherweight Title defense. We do not know the cause of death other than speculation. Our condolences go out to Marcos’ family and friends.” Paul stated.
“I couldn’t have said it better myself, partner.” John replied. Randy followed Samantha up the ramp with his ears ringing loud as the realization began to hit him. They walked through the veil, and to his left he saw his mother who was crying even more. She knew how close Marcos and himself were.
They all walked into the hallway and then Mr. Lawrence held Randy back at the locker room. “I need to discuss something with you.” He opened the door and inside the room were all the competitors for that night. Gorgon and Carl had already gotten their wrestling outfits on when they saw Randy enter. Bongo, Neo, Mana, Gunther and even Bruce were standing there. Surprisingly, Bruce was the first to say something to him. He put a hand on Randy’s shoulder and looked him square in the eye. “Whatever was between us was strictly situational. I was very emotional during that match and I want you to know I never hated you nor anyone else for that matter. I’m sorry man.” he stated.
“Thank you so much.” “You got it! Anytime you want a rematch for the Submissions Title, just tell me and I’ll let you. Don’t think of it as a pity offering, you’ve won more than enough matches to deserve another shot.” Bruce left the locker room with his belt over his shoulder. Randy still couldn’t believe what had just happened .He sat down and then his current opponents sat opposite of him. Mr. Lawrence cleared his throat and got all of their attention. “As you all may have just heard, Marcos Gonzalez has passed away. From what I can see, it seems to be from brain injuries. Now Marcos has complained to me in the past about headaches and I had him checked.”
This news made Randy’s ears perk up. He turned around to look fully at his boss. “Marcos has been suffering from brain trauma and recently he had found out there was a tumor that was inoperable. He just found this out today, hence why none of his close friends knew about it.” Mr. Lawrence stated. He looked at Randy as he said this statement, and Randy saw tears in his eyes.
“Now Marcos was one hell of a competitor. He always came to his shows, unless it was absolutely necessary to miss. He fought hard defending that title for over half a year and he seemed to be going places. I will notify his parents and family and rest assured, Marcos will receive a top funeral service fully paid from my own personal account. I would like to also offer the opportunity for the competitors of the next match to sit it out for now, if they would like to. Seeing as you three were the closest to Marcos, you have that choice.”
Randy turned back around, staring at both Gorgon and Carl. “I don’t want to miss out on this. Marcos wouldn’t want me to…” he told them. “And we know he would but you have to imagine none of our minds are in the right place.” Carl replied. “I know man, but I won’t let this stop me. I know I have more than one spirit watching over me and he has just entered Paradise. He’s watching over all three of us and he would be spitting at our feet if we told him we’d quit on his account. You both know that.” “You have a point Randy. I’m all for it, if you and Carl are.” Gorgon said to them.
Carl folded his arms and nodded. “Then it’s settled. The main event of the night will go on as scheduled. You three can take some time to recompose yourselves and then tell me when you’re ready. I’ll be out by the arena entrance, waiting.” Mr. Lawrence nodded at all three of them and then exited the locker room. “Hey, I’m sorry about your loss bro.” Mana chimed in. He was picking at his fingers as he tried to look Randy in the eyes.
“Thanks Mana. It means a lot to me.” Randy replied. “And I’m sorry for your guys’ loss as well.” Mana chimed in, looking at both Carl and Gorgon. They nodded back at him and then Mana left. Gunther, Neo, Bongo and even Blood and Bruiser gave their condolences. Bruiser especially blind sided Randy. He pulled him into a huge hug as well as Carl and Gorgon. “I’m so sorry t-to all of y-y-you!” He ran out the door. Blood nodded, stating, “He’s really a big teddy bear on the inside. I know; I grew up with the guy. I hope you all can find your peace soon.”
Then it was down to them three. Randy got up, straightened his shirt and then shook both Carl’s and Gorgon’s hands. “Let’s do this.” he said. “Here, here! For Marcos!” Gorgon added in. “Yeah, let’s do it for the little guy.” Carl stated. They all exited the locker room, and reentered the area behind the steel doors. Mr. Lawrence gazed up at them, and wiped his face. “Sorry you guys, I had something in m-my eye.” They all walked over to him and pulled him into a giant group hug. “Your attitudes are the reason why I keep this business going. Guys like you make guys like Marcos feel good and special and I appreciate that, greatly.”
“Hey, you can count on us boss.” Carl replied. “Let’s get this thing started right!” Randy added in. “OH! Randy? I picked up your mask for your entrance.” Mr. Lawrence replied. After Randy slid the mask on, Mr. Lawrence exited the back room and left them waiting. They all could hear his boss’ voice as he cleared his throat on the microphone. Though Randy’s heart was pumping depression throughout his veins, it brought warmth to hear Mr. Lawrence’s saddened voice over the loud speakers.