The Piledriver Part Seven

 

high toll on his health. By his tenth year in professional wrestling Al Sharp had broken nearly every bone in his body and had suffered several concussions. Early on, in order to cope with his physical pain, Al turned to drugs both legal and illegal. For the pain of his physical injuries he took Tylenol three with codeine and later graduated to Percocet. The wrestler said a few doctors in every city were very willing to prescribe all kinds of drugs for them including steroids.

 

The fact was that most wrestlers used drugs. The painkillers became an absolute necessity. Even if the wrestler played it right, did not intentionally try to injure you, professional wrestling was painful by its very nature. It’s true that wrestlers learn all the tricks to avoid serious injury, but accidents still happen. Every wrestler is going to have an off night once in a while. Also, the ring mat itself is very unforgiving.

 

Within his first month of being a professional wrestler Al was already a drug addict. His alcoholism came a couple of years later. In some ways a life or a professional wrestlers is similar to that of a rock star. They both of sex and drugs in common but not rock ‘n roll. I take that back. The wrestlers all have entrance songs that are rock and roll.

 

Steroids entered the picture for Al in his fifteenth year of pro wrestling. In his early career, appearing to be out of shape and overweight was common for wrestlers. There were one or two bodybuilders in the business but they were somewhat of a novelty. Al felt the pressure to start pumping iron and take steroids in order to prolong his career and to compete with the younger wrestlers.

 

Matt met Mike at the entrance to Al’s warehouse gym.

 

Al was busy training some rookie wrestling prospects as Matt and Mike entered the gym. “Can I help you guys?” asked Al. “Yeah, hi, I’m Mike and this is my friend Matt. We were invited to come here by Blue Hair and Orange Hair.”

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The Pile Driver Part Six

 

substitute teaching. This summer he is going to be applying for permanent teaching positions in the whole state.” With the positive influences he will get from his principals, Mike will be sure to land a full-time teaching position.”

 

“I don’t know. I haven’t thought that far ahead.” Mike responded.

 

“What is wrong with being a full-time teacher Mike?” asked Courtney

 

“There’s nothing wrong with teaching as a profession. I’m just not sure it’s a fit for me,” replied Mike.

 

Courtney gives an exasperated sigh, “Then what is your perfect fit Mike?”

 

“I don’t know. I’m still looking looking for it,” answered Mike.

 

This conversation did not make for a very pleasant evening of socializing. In fact the atmosphere was quite tense. You could cut the tension with a knife.

 

When his afternoon substitute teaching assignment was over, Mike went to the wrestling school with Matt.

 

Al Sharp’s Wrestling School was located in a warehouse in the industrial area of the city. Al’s facility was also used by a boxing club and a martial arts school. Al made some extra money by renting out the facility to the managers of the boxing and martial art clubs. Al had been in the wrestling business since he was in his early twenties His father was a professional wrestler and Al was always interested in his dad’s line of work.

 

Al asked his father if he could get him started in the wrestling business. His dad told him that he could break Al in as a referee. After a few months of being a referee, Al felt that he had what it took to be a professional wrestler. Al learned the trade quickly and he had all the lumber to be a successful wrestler. He was a strong athlete and had good camera skills. Al made it to being a mid-card wrestler and was a mid-card attraction for about twenty years.

 

As Al’s body started to age he found the wrestling life was taking a 

The Pile Driver Part Five

“It’s like twenty-seven high power vacuum cleaners pointed out you sucking out every last ounce of your energy,” Mike explained.

“It’s amazing that you still have the energy to go to the gym after school,”stated Courtney sarcastically.

“Not really. Although you’re exhausted after a day with the kids, it’s also hard to come down. Once the kids adrenaline kicks in so does yours. Not to mention that you’re pretty frustrated by trying to maintain control all day.”

“Well Mike if you still the energy to work out, you have the energy to go out on a date with me and our friends.”

Mike replied, “They’re really more your friends. Jessica is okay, but I get a headache listening to Rodney.”

“What’s wrong with Rodney?” asked Courtney.

“Rodney is probably one of most boring people I’ve met in my life. I hate pseudo-intellectuals.”

“Let me tell you Mike. It’s no bundle of joy listening to your friends either. Although they want to do is talk about mixed martial arts fighting, wrestling,their cars and video games.”

“Well, at least my friends have hobbies other than reading and watching documentaries,” retorted Mike.

“I’m not going to argue about this Mike. We have a date for tonight and you’re not going to jam out on it. Not only that, you’re going to have fun too.”

When Mike and Courtney arrive at the Golden Spider, Rodney and Jessica are already there and have ordered their drinks.

Rodney looks right at Mike and asks Mike. “When are you going to get a real job Mike? Get some direction in your life?”

“I’m only twenty-three years old Rodney. I don’t have my whole life planned out for me like you do.”

With that, Rodney laughed and said, “Ah Ha! We have a free spirit among us.”

“Don’t worry about Mike, Rodney. This is going to be his last year of

The Wrestler Part Four

 

Ditto,” replied Matt.

 

After Mike and Matt finished their workout gym Mike gets a phone call from his girlfriend Courtney on his cell phone. “Mike, don’t forget our date tonight. We got a double date set up Kyle and Jessica at the Spider Club lounge tonight.”

 

“Oh, man, I forgot all about it,Courtney”. I got up feeling tired tonight, Babe. Is there any chance we could postpone the date for tonight?”

 

 

‘Not a chance! Case closed,” replied Courtney. “Our favorite new girl band, Sick of Sarah is playing at The Golden Spider tonight. They are only booked for a one night engagement.”

 

“Sick of Sarah? Have I heard of them?”

 

“Yes, you have. Remember a couple of weeks ago we were checking out some new bands on Frostwire?”

 

“I think I remember, we downloaded about seven bands new songs that night. I’ll need to check them out on Frostwire again.”

 

“You won’t need to do that Mike. We’re going to see Sick of Sarah tonight.” said Courtney in a firm tone of voice.

 

“Well I guess or that means there’s no getting out of the date right?” asked Mike. Mike didn’t need to hear Courtney’s answer.

 

“What’s making you so tired anyway Mike?” You’re only 22 years old.”

 

“Subbing for one thing. If you were a sub teacher you would know what I’m talking about. All the calls I’ve gotten for the last two weeks of Blue River Junior High.”

 

“What’s so hard about junior high? asked Courtney.

 

“Well, just picture this scene Courtney. You’re alone in a room for five hours with a group of high-energy kids whose hormones are running wild.”

 

Courtney laughed at Mike’s answer.