Chapter Six: Building Bridges

By: Chris Page

Writing Prompt: No

Date: 5th Jan 2022

Chapter 6: Building Bridges

 

__________________

Nobody should be shocked with what transpired tonight at the expense of Centurion. He was out of his league from the word go. He knew it, I knew it, the only people that did not was the rest of the locker room that hung their hats on him being the man to shut my mouth. 

How did that work out for you?

Not only did I leave with my arm raised in victory; which wasn’t a shock by any stretch, CCP Enterprises has gained a new member to its ranks. Joe Montouri, you have seen the light for I am the man that can take you back towards the promised land. Unlike the rest of the roster that is butt-hurt because they’re bypassed by people such as myself or Centurion for that matter within a headlining spot of a major Pay-Per-View.

It baffles my mind to see how confined people are within their circles. It’s easy as hell to stand on top of a mountain when you’re dealing with the same “top talents” versus branching out and taking the profession by goddamn storm. That’s exactly what I am doing, these are the bridges that I am building. It’s not my fault that you’re blind to the bigger picture. 

If you look past what’s right in front of your face you’ll see what I see.

I don’t claim to be loved throughout the world, fuck your feelings. 

I don’t aspire to be something I’m not. 

I see opportunities all over the business, the same opportunities that have been there this entire time… I’ve just elected not to them exploit them until now. It’s funny to me how there’s a contingent of the boys and girls that occupy locker rooms across the planet who are quick to condemn me “on air” but are quick to seek me out to lend them advice, or dare I say, credibility. The masses will hurl the same petty insults; you know the ones, the old man, the flabby body, the receding hairline, the same unoriginal song and dances the younger generation plays because they’re not clever or witty enough to pull something fresh out of their empty bag of failed tricks. 

Austin Ramsey, Todrick Ramsey, JC Keeton are the first three that spring to mind. 

I don’t despise them for their lack of drive or focus. I pity them. 

They’re not the only ones that crack like broken records but they’re the more recent. I’ve come to the realization a long time ago that seeking one’s approval wasn’t my cup of tea. What I do is what I did at Countdown, what I did every week leading up to it, and what I shall continue to do with every move I make within this human game of chess. 

Win.

___________________

Chapter 6.1

COUNTDOWN 3

12/30/21

Fight Tower

Manhattan, New York

11:15 PM

Featuring: Ricky Rodriguez 

https://www.fight-now.com/results/countdown-3/

The atmosphere inside Fight Tower was off the charts as Chris Page had left his suite at the Tower and made his way behind the scenes. He’d just witnessed what was perhaps one of, if not the match of Night One between Ricky Rodriguez and Todrick-Tabor Ramsey. It was high octane excitement from bell to bell. While watching this unfold it hit him. He had to act. 

We find Chris outside a closed dressing room door. 

He knocks on the door, patiently waiting. 

Seconds pass before the door swings open where we see…

Ricky was shocked to find “the man” standing at his dressing room door as he eyes Page without speaking a word until Chris finally breaks the silence. 

CHRIS PAGE: Are you going to let me in or am I going to stand out here with my dick in my hand?

Ricky steps to the side as he responds. 

RICKY RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, sorry about that.

Chris steps into Ricky’s dressing room closing the door behind him. Ricky walks over taking a seat on a small bench in front of a few lockers, dejected over how things played out inside the ring. Chris stands across the room, his hands in his pockets as he looks over at Ricky who has his head resting in his hands.

CHRIS PAGE: I don’t do all this.

Chris states which bring Ricky’s head up as he responds.

RICKY RODRIGUEZ: You don’t do what?

CHRIS PAGE: Mope around over a match result.

Win and losing come with the territory when it comes to this line of work. You know going in one is leaving with their arm raised while the other is not. It’s not the win or the loss that defines you; it’s the performance that you put on from bell to bell.

CHRIS PAGE: Listen, Ricky, I’m sure you’ve probably got a thousand things running through your head; not only about tonight, which mind you, but you should also be incredibly proud of what you did in that ring tonight.

RICKY RODRIGUEZ: Proud? I didn’t leave with a win or the title shot that came along with it.

Frustration fills Ricky’s voice, and why shouldn’t it if you’re in his shoes. Chris removes his hands from his pockets as he leans back against the wall of Ricky’s dressing room.

CHRIS PAGE: Maybe you didn’t leave with a win. You left tonight with something so much more powerful if you look outside of that box. It’s called respect from the audience; and that my friend is what is going to always make or break you when it comes to professional wrestling. What I see when I look at you is a diamond in the rough that just needs some polishing. You strive to perform, it’s in your blood. You show it every time you step into the ring. 

Working with a younger generation can be a blessing or a curse when you’re a veteran of the game like I am. A lot of the kids today have it all wrong but will swear they know everything. It’s cute at times, but eventually when they smarten up and listen to the elders who paved the way for them to make a living today. 

CHRIS PAGE: I don’t know if you’re aware, but guys like you are guys that I am looking for within the ranks of CCP Enterprises. You have something here, if you didn’t I would be here right now. 

Ricky looks Chris in the eyes across the room as he lets out a deep sigh. 

CHRIS PAGE: I represent some of the top names across the globe; Thaddeus Duke, I know you’re aware, my client list reads like a who’s who. Every person I’ve approached I’ve approached for a reason… you’re no different. 

There’s a lot I could do with Ricky because he is young, he is hungry, and he has the “it” factor if he can put all the pieces together. The question with him becomes can I earn his trust. It’s one thing to see how I act when the “red light” is on. I have a job to do, and I do it well. Inside those ropes, I’m contracted to garner a reaction; positive or negative. 

CHRIS PAGE: I didn’t come here to sell you on anything, that’s not my style. I’ve come here to offer you an opportunity to sit under the learning tree of one of the most polarizing talents in the world today. I made my way into FIGHT, and I’ve dominated much like I’ve dominated this profession for thirty-two years. I’ll make you the same offer I’ve made everyone else; I don’t touch your contracts, that money is all yours. If you want to make a name for yourself, I mean REALLY make a name for yourself then take me up on it. What’s the worst that could happen? You decide it’s not for you and move on. 

It’s insane just how many talents I’ve actually already signed across six different federations. Oops, that was a slip on the tongue. That doesn’t make it less true. CCP Enterprises is going to be my final fuck you to all of the haters, to everyone who assumes that they’ve got me figured all out. I’m going to leave the longest-lasting impression on this business that will make you question just who the real GOAT is. 

RICKY RODRIGUEZ: Chris, I know your reputation proceeds you. A lot of what you’re saying makes sense. Is it okay if I think about it?

CHRIS PAGE: You’re not on any clock. Tell you what, I know you and Thad are cool. If you doubt my business savvy why don’t you talk to him about it? I’m pretty vicious inside those ropes which is equally as vicious when it comes to my clients. My name brings a lot of power, and power is what makes the world go round. 

Ricky stands up as Chris steps forward extending his hand. 

CHRIS PAGE: This moves at your pace. 

Ricky and Chris Page shake hands as Ricky responds. 

RICKY RODRIGUEZ: Thank you for the time.

CHRIS PAGE: That’s a two-way street.

They release the handshake as Chris sees himself out of Ricky’s locker room. 

____________________

The world continues to turn around us regardless of our choice to admit it or not. I was on the cusp of driving the final nail into Centurion’s coffin. It was going to be a relaunch of Chris Page. My star power has grown tremendously as countless federations are in the mix bidding for my affections. It’s a sense of accomplishment knowing that the world is my oyster. All the hard work and dedication have paid dividends as being able to pick and choose what I do versus rolling with whatever punches were thrown my way. I’ve always known just how deep-seated my greatness goes, and now you’re all witnessing it firsthand. Ricky plays into the narrative that I want to cultivate the next generation. Every person I’m selecting to take part in CCP Enterprises has a purpose. You’re never going to get any better if you maintain the status quo. You’ve got to push yourself, you have to break boundaries, cross lines that you never thought you’d cross. 

This business will chew you up and spit you out if you allow it. 

It can be the bitterest bitch you’ve ever met if you don’t take control of it. 

Let me show you how to control your own destiny.

____________________

CHAPTER 6.2

COUNTDOWN 2

Fight Tower

1/30/21

Manhattan, New York

4:30 PM

Featuring: Thaddeus Duke, Sebastian Everett-Bryce, Elijah Martin, and Sahara

https://www.fight-now.com/results/countdown-2/

Following an incredible Countdown 3, the anticipation was in the air for Countdown 2 to supersede the previous night’s action. That rests on Chris Page’s shoulders. He knew it was up to him to make this part the event it was intended to be. We open up back at Fight Tower where we link up with Chris Page who has Thaddeus Duke, SEB, and Elijah Martin inside the dressing room of Chris Page. The foursome is in the midst of a conversation we join in on.

CHRIS PAGE: Reality is while Centurion is scared of Thad he should be trembling at the moment for this final fantasy that he is anything but a higher-priced job guy to a crashing halt. I’m glad you’re all here to support because that’s exactly what CCP Enterprises is all about as Thaddeus is well aware.

Let’s be perfectly clear to say Sebastian and Elijah are on the radar yet neither are officially involved with CCP Enterprises. Elijah Martin has an Anarchy Title match versus the defending Champion, Centurion; go figure, on January 6th. This will mark his second attempt at dethroning him. SEB is a presence within the business that is only gaining more and more notoriety with each passing day. 

They both have a purpose within this business which makes them prime candidates to join the winning team.

CHRIS PAGE: Thad. 

Chris states as he shifts his attention over towards the Duke Legacy. 

CHRIS PAGE: You know where my suite is. Why don’t you guys go have a good time, watch as I show you all by the term “by example” means? 

THADDEUS DUKE: Alight man. Goodluck.

Thad fist bumps Page before heading towards the door. He’s followed by SEB and Elijah who both fist bump Page on their way past. Thaddeus starts fucking around per usual on their way out leaving Chris to himself.

Chris lets out a deep sigh knowing what tonight is all about.

His cell phone starts to ring which he retrieves from the inner pocket of his leather jacket. He answers the call while placing the phone to his ear which frees his hands to grab the travel bag that he picks up placing on a small oval table. 

CHRIS PAGE: Hey man… Yeah, I’m here… Nooooo, don’t do that or you could blow it. We’re so close to this reveal of your participation within CCP Enterprises. Let me ask you, did you bring both masks? Good. 

There’s a knock heard coming from the locker room door just as Chris unzips his bag pulling and laying out his gear.

CHRIS PAGE: That better not be you knocking on my door bro. 

Chris turns around where he walks over opening the door to reveal…

CHRIS PAGE: Let me call you back.

Chris ends the call. He tilts his head to the left a tick or two as he states. 

CHRIS PAGE: Oh how I’ve been waiting for this one…

Chris steps to the side as Sahara lashes with attitude while she enters Chris’s room. 

SAHARA: I’m sure you have.

Chris closes the door behind her as she doesn’t ask to have a seat in the only chair in the room, she just plops down in it. 

CHRIS PAGE: Your reputation proceeds I see.

SAHARA: Eh.

Chris walks back over to the table which is opposite the chair. He pushes everything to the side and sits on the edge. 

CHRIS PAGE: I’ve never been a guy that wastes a lot of time, and now isn’t going to be any different for you strike me as a “get to the point” kinda lady. First, let me say I don’t pull a lot of punches, I’ve always been that guy to call it down the middle for or against my own cause. It’s part of why I’m looked at in higher regard than most. 

If you go back almost twelve years ago I was referring to myself as the most controversial athlete on the planet. I billed myself as that guy that has no problem saying what everyone else was thinking yet didn’t have the balls to vocalize. I gave no fucks. 

I’m the same guy today. 

CHRIS PAGE: I understand why you have this hard-on for NSQ, but have you thought for a minute that there’s more than one way to skin a cat? I know, that saying dates me. I’m okay with that, you’re directing your anger and hostility in the wrong direction. 

Sahara seems half interested in what Chris is saying as she continues to listen.

CHRIS PAGE: Some talk about it and some be about it. Beat them in the ring where it matters. I mean people can attack them every single week, but what does that prove? Sure, it gives you that brief sense of satisfaction… but it’s not moving the needle. What Brandon Moore and Paul Montouri did last night moved the needle. What Dane Preston has the opportunity to do tomorrow night against Dickie; again, moves the needle. 

Chris stands up and leans back against the wall of his dressing room.

CHRIS PAGE: You got overlooked for this huge event, right? Use it to fuel that fire, but fuel in the ring. If the powers that be don’t take notice, you make them take notice. They overlook you again, branch out and SHOW them why you’re a valuable commodity. See, what you kids don’t understand is this isn’t 2000 anymore; there are so many places for anyone to thrive. Look at me, over the last six months I stepped out and carved my reputation even further into the history books by opening my arms to any competition but more importantly, winning. 

Chris takes a second before he continues.

CHRIS PAGE: You have something, hence why I answered your call. When it comes Chris Page inside that ring I’m beast, I carry that over into my business. I don’t see “good” or “bad”, I see what’s real versus what’s not. My list of talent will only increase over the next several weeks, I don’t promise shit because what you do between those ropes is on you, but I got a pretty goddamn good brain for how this industry ticks.

Leaning forward, the blonde props her elbows on her knees and looks up at Chris Page.

SAHARA: Lemme tell you a little story, Mr. Page, so maybe you can understand me a bit better. Six months ago, almost nobody knew who I was, let alone remembered me. Never mind the years I’d spent doing this prior. None of that meant anything anymore. Not today. Not to these fans. Needless to say, I was all but done with wrestling, mostly because wrestling was all but done with me. So one day, there I was mindin’ my own business when this mysterious little business card from FIGHT shows up tucked into my ratty little gym locker. There was nothing more than a logo I’d never seen before on the front, and a random New York address on the back. My honest reaction?

She laughs.

SAHARA: Yeah, I laughed. Kinda like that. She raises her eyebrows. Exactly like that. Like I got the time or the money to uproot my life in Chicago to take some random trip to some random address in New York because some imbecile left me a business card. For all I knew, they’d stuck that card in the wrong locker and it was all some misunderstanding and I’d find out I wasted my time and money goin’ there like an idiot.

Sahara’s lip curls into something of a self-deprecating smirk.

SAHARA: But then I looked around at my life and realized I had nothin’ to lose cuz I didn’t have much of a life left anyway. I was waiting tables at Applebee’s, Mr. Page. What few fans might have recognized me didn’t believe I was me cuz I’d quit dyin’ my hair and I was barely recognizable as who you see right now. So I figured, what the hell?! Why not see what the hell this is? So when I came here, I was dismissed. I expected that. Hell, I get that. But no matter what I did, no matter who I beat, I’d still get dismissed. Oh, Sahara? She’s a slut. She’s loud. She’s obnoxious. She’s a nobody. You know what else I am, Mr. Page?

Leaning back in that chair, she looked him dead in the eyes.

SAHARA: You say beat them in the ring where it matters? I have, Mr. Page. I’ve beaten the new Manhattan Champion. She holds up two perfectly manicured fingers. Twice. And I’ve done something very few will ever claim they’ve even come close to doin’; I put birdshot in Raven’s ass. Now I ain’t sayin’ I can do that every time. They’re both at… top of the fuckin’ game. But I did it, and now they know it’s possible. They know I belong, but they refuse to admit it. Every time I step through those ropes I remember where I was less than a year ago. It fuels me. To a lot of people what happens between those ropes is just business. To me? She lets out a little laugh. It’s personal. And they’ll have to put me in a body bag to send me home. People wanna hate me? I got no problem with that. You of all people understand. But I wanna get fuckin’ paid. That’s why I’m here.

Chris listens, really listens to Sahara as he nods his head for a second or two before responding. 

CHRIS PAGE: I feel like I’ve underestimated you, and I’m man enough to admit that. Just listening to you I feel where you’re coming from, and I do understand. So I’m going to tell you what I can do for you because God only knows I’ve heard the same petty insults hurled my way on a daily from being old, fat, run-down… every time I step foot inside that ring it serves as the single biggest fuck you that I could ever throw in anyone’s direction. Not only taking the ring but performing on a world-class level that nobody will soon forget. 

Chris lets out a small sigh, he ponders a few things while maintaining eye contact with Sahara. 

SAHARA: Lemme guess… you don’t wanna help me either?

CHRIS PAGE: Did I say that?

SAHARA: You didn’t have to because it’s written all over your face.

CHRIS PAGE: Nah, incorrect. I’m trying to figure out how I can help you get what you deserve. I will say this, I can show you a new world if you put in the work. You spoke about how people talk to you, let them. The more they talk about you the more they’re selling you. I do have a spot in CCP Enterprises for you, the question is are you ready to take it?

Sahara gave Chris Page as respectful of a nod someone like she could muster.

She smiled.

SAHARA: The question isn’t whether I’m ready for CCP Enterprises. It’s whether CCP Enterprises is ready for me. Yer gonna piss a lot of people off bringin’ me on board. But if I know you — and I think I do — you care about as much as I do when it comes to what other people think. But I need you to understand somethin’, I’m not just another signing. I want my press release. Don’t lump me in with a bunch of other names when you announce it.

She held up a finger as Chris Page’s amused smile grew wider.

SAHARA: And don’t announce me like I’m just another name cuz you’re just startin’ to hear about me now…trust me Mr. Page, your gettin’ Brady before anyone knew who the fuck Brady was.

Sahara reached out her hand—

CHRIS PAGE: Why do I feel like this is going to be a very entertaining ride?

Chris shakes Sahara’s hand. 

CHRIS PAGE: I’ll have the paperwork drawn up and sent over to you. I’ve got to fly out in the morning to Columbus. Another appearance… it’s kind of a thing.

__________________

I fucked up Centurion…

Again. 

___________________

CHAPTER 6.3:

1/31/21

Thunder Pro Wrestling: Winter Wrestleland

Nationwide Arena

Columbus, Ohio

7:44 PM

Featuring: Bam Miller

https://thunderpro.freeforums.net/thread/150/winter-wrestleland?page=1&scrollTo=236

Bam Miller burst through the locker room door of the Exiles following a crushing defeat at the hands of Jim Caedus. He’s livid as he screams out in sheer frustration.

BAM MILLER: FUCK! 

Bam walks up towards a set of lockers as he rears back while balling up his right fist but as he pulls the trigger his arm is caught from behind. 

“I’m not so sure breaking your hand is the best solution.”

Bam spun around to see Chris Page standing in an empty dressing room. Betsy and Peter were off getting prepared for their respective matches, and unknown to Bam, he was about to be in for a huge surprise. 

BAM MILLER: It’s you. 

CHRIS PAGE: It’s me, and you rang. 

BAM MILLER: I didn’t think you were serious about meeting up with me.

CHRIS PAGE: Why not? Aren’t you in the same business I’m in? Don’t you lace your boots up just like I, and so many others? I’m a businessman, Bam. 

It often amazes me when people, in general, find it hard to believe that I give a shit about the future of the business as a whole. People shit on Sahara because it’s the “cool” thing to do much as people look past the value of someone like Bam Miller. He’s just come onto the scene over the last several months, like Sahara, rough around the edges but has the potential to do really big things. 

CHRIS PAGE: Take a seat, sir. 

Chris motions for Bam to sit at a nearby table in a seat while Chris takes the other empty seat across from Bam. 

CHRIS PAGE: You do realize the guy that had to struggle to beat you in that ring tonight is also a man that happens to be the Universal Champion in the XWF for now, right? Of course, you do because you pinned him for the Xtreme Championship on the same night he cashed in a briefcase. Do yourself a favor and lighten up. 

Chris makes firm eye contact with Bam as he asks. 

CHRIS PAGE: So Mr. Miller, what’s on your mind?  

Bam takes a moment, really thinking about what he is about to say. He speaks out with sheer conviction within the tone of his voice. 

BAM MILLER: What’s on my mind? A lot of shit Chris, Hell I wouldn’t even know where to start. All my life the odds have been stacked against me since I was left in that dumpster in Detroit, Michigan as a baby, and the odds never really bothered me but now I’m starting to think I can never overcome them and be a household name you know? 

CHRIS PAGE: Can I let you in on something you might not be aware of? 

Chris asks as he draws an immediate connection within listening to Bam.

CHRIS PAGE: Do you know who else is originally from Detroit? 

Chris points back at himself with his left thumb while answering the rhetorical question. 

CHRIS PAGE: Me. 

Lowering his hand back down he continues.

CHRIS PAGE: I’m truly sorry about the circumstances surrounding your infancy. Nobody deserves to be treated that way, so young, so innocent. 

Chris leans back in his chair as he takes a moment before stating. 

CHRIS PAGE: You’re looking for acceptance above anything else. I’ve been watching you from a distance like I’ve been doing with so many others. You have snakebit yourself in several instances…

I’m the guy that can have a hard conversation. Everyone deserves to hear the truth for not only does it set them free but it empowers them in ways far greater than any words can verbalize. 

CHRIS PAGE: You’ve put so much pressure on yourself that you’ve lost sight of which way is up. Here’s your million-dollar question… What do you think I can do for you? 

Bam lets out a deep breath and walks over towards one of the lockers and pulls out two Miller Lite beers and hands one to Chris. Bam pops the bottle top off and takes a few sips before turning back to Chris.

BAM MILLER: Well honestly ever since we met back on that night in OCW I always saw you as a Legend that has this business figured out but at the time we were on opposite sides at the start and I let my brand loyalty blind me. I always knew deep down in my mind that you were someone I should have word with about the business but I never knew how to pull you to the side. I’ve been on my own so much I barely trust anyone but when it comes to you and all I’ve heard in the wind, I know you can get me on track to where I want to go and that’s straight to the top.

Bam pauses and takes another sip out of his beer before speaking again.

BAM MILLER: Chris I believe you can get me to be up there with the names like Alias, Shawn, Raven, and yourself. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself to climb that mountain but with your help, I believe I can conquer it.

Chris looks at the beer in his hand before putting it on the table. He unzips his black leather jacket enough for him to reach into the custom inner pocket. He retrieves a steel flask. 

CHRIS PAGE: Eighty-Year-aged scotch.

Chris tosses the flask over to Bam who catches it. 

CHRIS PAGE: There’s a reason why I’m looked at as one of the greatest of all time. I don’t use those words lightly. Trust is something that most people throw out there at the drop of a dime yet fail to realize it’s one of the easiest things that can be broken. I am a firm believer that all things are possible, I mean fuck man, look at me… Fifty-Two years old and still outworking kids your age without batting an eyelash. You’re right though, I can help you. The question is are you willing to do what it’s going to take? This shit doesn’t happen overnight, you’re GOING to have to make sacrifices, you’re GOING to have to make hard decisions, and you’re going to have to change that mentality because reality is when it comes to this business it’s as ruthless as the shitbags that brought you into this world. 

Chris reaches back into his custom leather jacket. He retrieves a white envelope, places it on the table, and slides it across before drawing his arm back.  

CHRIS PAGE: That’s a contract for CCP Enterprises. The choice is yours, but if you sign that dotted line I’m going to be all over you like stink on shit because this is my reputation at stake, not yours. 

Bam takes the contract and looks at it for a moment, thinking heavily on the decision. He sits the contract down on the table and looks up at Chris.

BAM MILLER: Chris I’ve been at the bottom for a long time in life and the wrestling business for far too long and I tried to do it my way and that’s gotten me only so far. So I’m going to sign this contract, bust my ass and do it your way every step of the way. 

Bam takes a pen from Chris and signs the contract with no hesitation. 

CHRIS PAGE: My contracts aren’t standard. You’ll see that I don’t collect any money from any contract that you sign. I get my 2% on endorsements. This isn’t about the money to me. You can also walk at any time. I don’t argue, I don’t fight. I’ll announce you next week. 

Bam starts to look towards the door. 

BAM MILLER: You might want to cut out before Vaughn or Betsy get back…

Chris smirks as he stands up out of his chair. 

CHRIS PAGE: On the contrary…

Chris fully unzips his jacket revealing to Bam his Exiles t-shirt. 

CHRIS PAGE: I’ve already seen Peter.

 Bam has a smile on his face as he takes a swig from the flask as we fade. 

____________________