**** We’re back. Did you miss us? Well, it’s been a couple of days and our boy Devo has finally settled in here in the island paradise known as Honolulu, Hawaii. Got himself a nice little hotel room overlooking the beach. Having spent the better part of the last two days under the guidance of HIW personnel rep Mikayla Rabinowitz, he’s itching for a little workout. You see, it’s been nothing but meetings, briefings, physicals, photo shoots, pretty much everything but wrestling, and to be honest, he’s a little weary. But with his debut match, a main event no less, coming up in less than a week’s time, he really needs to turn his attention to matters *inside* the ring. You understand.
Now when last we saw him he’d made a startling discovery and purchase in an airport gift shop of all places. Now for those of you who weren’t able to piece together what that discovery was, well, you’ll just have to wait. Patience is a virtue, or so they say. For now, let’s head on down to the gym. You see, our friends at the HIW have another little surprise in store for young Devo. He’d asked for a trainer to help him prior to his match, and they got him one. A legendary one. Or so they’ve told him.
Hmm, no camera’s around today. Looks like we’ll just be taking another secret peek at what goes on behind the scenes. Now you know the rules, no telling what you see here. Tsk tsk. This is top secret stuff. Just be thankful I’m here to give you all this wonderful insight. Think about it. Without me, you never would have known about the flight over, and you most certainly never would have been able to piece together the meaning behind that little scene in the airport. Assuming you did of course. But I’m not here to make you feel foolish. At least, not officially. But I’ve already wasted too much of your valuable time.
You’ve seen it in all the Rocky movies, as well as numerous wrestling promo spots, no doubt. A big ring set up in the middle of the room, heavy bags and free-weights scattered about the ringside area. There’s even some of those blue mats off in one corner. Looks like a couple of other HIW prospects are sparring. I’d tell you who they are, but hey, let them write their own promos. Devo’s just entered through the door from the locker room. He’s got on some plain gray wrestling trunks and a HIW T-shirt. Not his normal ring attire, but then again, this is just rehearsal, I mean, practice. He’s also got his duffel bag and a towel.
Sitting in a chair at ringside is a short, old, wrinkly, weather-beaten, Hawaiian man. He’s sitting with his arms folded and his head down, his chin resting on his chest. Probably asleep. Yup. He’s a snorin’. And other than the two nameless wrestlers in the corner, this place is empty, a fact not lost on Devo. He looks around a bit. Hm. That trainer must be late. I guess Devo’s decided that he’ll get a better view from inside the ring. He’s dumped his bag and towel at ringside and climbed through the ropes and, well, now he’s just looking around some more. Now what’s he doing? Ohhhh, I see. Might as well loosen up. He’s running back and forth, bouncing off the ropes. Good, Devo, get it out of your system. A few laps and now he’s gonna stretch out them hamstrings. You see, he’s got his left leg stretched up on the turnbuckle. Wait a minute, I think he woke up the old man. This oughta be good. ****
Old Man: I am wondering, why are you here?
Devo: [somewhat startled by the old man’s sudden signs of life] I’m… I’m looking for someone.
Old Man: Looking? I would say you have found someone, hmmm?
Old Man: I can help you. Yes.
Devo: I don’t think so. I’m looking for a legendary trainer.
Old Man: Oh. A trainer. Training alone does not make one a legend.
[Devo continues his stretching while the withery old man has got up from his seat and is now rifling through the duffel bag. He finds a roll of what appears to be candy or mints. He takes one out and puts it in his mouth.]
Devo: Put that down, now will you… HEY! Those are mine!
[Devo vaults himself over the ropes onto the floor and snatches the roll of treats from the old man’s hand.]
Old Man: How do you expect to be a superstar eating this crap?
[Devo just shoots the old man a look of “you’d never understand” and plops a couple of the mints (?) into his mouth. Meanwhile, the old man has decided to continue picking through the bag. He throws some of Devo’s clothes onto the floor and finally pulls out a pair of keys, which he starts to play with.]
Devo: Hey, give me those. Those are the keys to my rental car. I’m gonna need those if I ever wanna get out of this dingy sweatbox.
Old Man: Dingy? Sweat box? This is *my* gym.
Devo: Your gym? You mean, you’re my trainer?
Old Man: You were expecting Don Ho?
**** Looks like it’s time for me to interrupt. Now that the introductions are out of the way, it’s time to get down to business. I’ll spare you all the small talk. Devo was never much good at it, and neither is this old man. What’s that, you want to know his name? Well, if I heard him correctly, I believe he said it was Noga, but don’t quote me on that. So we’re gonna skip ahead in time a bit. Get down to the nitty gritty.
Hmmm. It looks like they’ve been going at it quite a while now. Devo’s worked up quite a sweat. That old man certainly knows a few moves. He’s put Devo through quite the workout. A real clinic of amateur wrestling. And if I may say so, our boy’s been up to the task. Of course, for all his problems socially, he’s never disappointed inside the squared circle. Seems they’re taking a break. How about we slip back down and have another listen. I get the feeling the ‘ol Noga’s about to spew forth some words of wisdom. ****
Noga: The hero’s strength flows from the fans. But beware of rule breaking. Anger, fear, aggression – breaking the rules is tempting for some easily led young grappler. Once you start down the rule breaking path, forever will it dominate your destiny, it will consume you.
Devo: Is breaking the rules smarter? [he pops a candy into his mouth]
Noga: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
Devo: But how am I to know the good guys from the bad?
Noga: You will know. When you are calm, at peace, passive. A hero uses the fans energy for inspiration and support, never for attack.
Devo: But tell me why I can’t…
Noga: [interrupting] No, no, there is no why. I will teach you nothing more today. Clear your mind of questions.
[With that, the old man throws Devo’s towel to him and turns to leave the gym. Devo stands holding the towel, looking at it, deeply contemplating. As Noga reaches the door, Devo speaks.]
Devo: Like, thank you.
Noga: [a smile creeping across his face] May the fans be with you.
[The old man turns the knob and with a flourish is gone. Devo is left alone with his thoughts, as by now the other wrestlers have left and the gym is completely empty.]
Devo: Wow. First that guy on the plane. Then to find what I was looking for so quickly at the airport. And now this. Jeez. There’s no way I’m gonna lose next week. All I need to do is go home and study my opponents. This is amazing. I’M GONNA BE A HERO!
**** Well, well, well. That sure was interesting. Kind of had an odd feeling of deja-vu during all that. How about you? Well, point is, Devo is in a good place. Everything seems to be going his way. Now, if he can just get past his two opponents. Somehow, I think that might present some problems. But I have faith in the little bugger. At least he’ll be well prepared.
As for us, well, I’ve got more important things to do, I don’t know about you. So I’m gonna leave Devo for now, let him get some rest. He’ll need it. I do know this. That Rabinowitz women has signed him up for another promo shoot sometimes early next week, so be sure to tune into that. Should be eye opening. See you then. ****