Strategizing.

By: Ricky Rodriguez

Date: 13th Aug 2021

She left. 

 

After finding out about the past my parents had, Alessa’s parents had, Bobby’s parents had, my head was in a daze. I wanted to ignore it and to just pretend I never knew. But she couldn’t. Constantly, I’d have to hear about just how shitty the world was becoming and how everything could be better for us if we just went back to the life our parents lived.

 

The more pushy she became with it, the more resistant I became to the whole thing. Eventually we began to fight because of it. She wasn’t who I remembered. Maybe it’s for the best. I can’t let it get too deep into my head, things are more important now than they’ve ever been before.

 

Ricky couldn’t even get too far into his thoughts before he was disrupted by a loud pounding on the door leading to the bedroom of his Tower Apartment. Turning his head to look over towards that door. He barely had the chance to sit up before that door flung open and in walked Big Ass Bobby. 

 

In his right hand, Bobby held his phone, livestreaming the whole thing to the world. Laughing out, Ricky shook his head as he sat there on the edge of that bed, his body covered in that thin white sheet. Before Ricky could get a word in edgewise, Bobby spoke up.

 

Bobby: Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you, in all of his glory, the fastest rising star in FIGHT New York: Rickyyy Rodriguezzz!

 

From behind that camera, Bobby mimicked the sound of a crowd cheering as Ricky brought his toned arms up, flexing for the world to see. Bobby moved closer before sitting on the edge of that bed with the camera directly pointed at him. Ricky flashed an arrogant smirk as he scooted back to relax against the wall behind him. He kept covered what needed to be covered as he spoke up.

 

Ricky: How y’all lovely sons of bitches doin tonight?

 

Bobby: I know you probably got this whole other thing planned out but I wanna know about the whole Amari situation.

 

Ricky: I mean, he had some pretty off the wall shit to say and when I confronted him about it, he chose to, instead of speak to me, sit off to the side and whisper shit. Then that sidepiece bitch wanna have some shit to say too? Both of them bout the fuckin same, if you ask me. Wanna talk big shit but when approached you ain’t got shit to say. That’s your Brooklyn Champion ladies and gentlemen, a hundred percent bitch made.

 

Bobby: Wow, those are some pretty harsh words there, Ricky.

 

Ricky: And it’s true. See, I was going to come at him respectfully cause he’s legit in that ring. I mean, he’s Brooklyn Champion and all that. But I can’t do that now and there ain’t noone to blame but your damn self. So when we meet in the middle of that ring and you’re lookin for a handshake? Don’t be surprised when I smack that hand away. Don’t be surprised when I put you on your ass. Don’t be surprised when I show the world that you ain’t half of what you act like you are.

 

Turning the camera around to face himself as he got back to a stand, walking out of that room.

 

Bobby: There you have it folks. Amari Kent is a bitch. That’s enough for now, though. We gonna get ready and we go run the town cause that’s what we do.

 

He shot a wink before cutting that feed. It wasn’t but a moment before it picked back up, this time in an entirely different location. It was the day after and, as he was before, Big Ass Bobby was on recording detail. With Ricky Rodriguez taking the lead, the two of them came up on Dynasty Headquarters. Earlier in the day, Ricky had got a text from Paul Montuori, asking him to come through so they could go over a few things before the match, to really get things all planned up.

 

As soon as they got to where they needed to be, they just so happened to walk in on the ass end of a conversation between Paul Montuori and Miss Michelle. It seemed like good timing too as Paul spoke up and walked up to Ricky, the two of them shaking hands. Before Ricky could answer the question asked, he looked to the one who interrupted. It took a minute but Ricky recognized her as someone from Twitter and the exchange they had. He couldn’t help but to laugh at the words shared between Paul and Madison before remembering Bobby was there recording and the slightly off look he was receiving.

 

Ricky: Oh, this is my buddy Big Ass Bobby.

 

Rather than vocalize a response, Bobby gave Paul the respectful head nod only to hear the words followed by laughter from Michelle. Bobby instantly remembered the one time he had met her before and how she kicked him out of his own place. He felt a bit of justification as Paul spoke up again. Bobby shot a smug grin at Michelle before looking back at Paul.

 

Bobby: Nice to meet you too.

 

Turning his head, Ricky glanced over at Michelle who returned the expression. Keeping the straight face he wore, Ricky spoke up.

 

Ricky: Hey.

 

Once she heard the single word spoken by Ricky, she looked over at him, not showing anything with her expression.

 

Michelle: Hey.

 

With that almost awkward exchange behind them, Ricky turned back to look at Paul, showing much more excitement than he just was.

 

Ricky: So, this match. We’re gonna own it out there, not gonna let either one of y’all down.

 

Just as Paul went to respond to what Ricky said, that other male came barging in, completely going off. Something about a helicopter and Joe Montuori. Before Ricky knew it, Paul and Madison had left and it was just the three of them left in that office. Laughing out after that exchange, Ricky noticed Michelle off to the side.

 

An almost awkward silence fell in the area as neither one was quick to speak. All the while, Big Ass Bobby was enjoying every second of it, grinning from ear to ear behind that camera. Finally, Ricky decided to speak up, asking a single question.

 

Ricky: So..uhh..how’s everything going with the whole baby thing?

 

Michelle: It’s going..

 

This conversation was definitely awkward and felt a little forced as she said those words. Before he could respond, she snapped back at him.

 

Michelle: And don’t get all standoffish,  it isn’t yours so don’t worry your pretty head.

 

It wasn’t really clear exactly how Ricky felt after hearing those last few words Michelle spoke. Hell, Ricky wasn’t even sure how he felt afterwards. Bobby sure as shit knew exactly how he felt though and he had no problem verbalizing it.

 

Bobby: He didn’t want it to be his anyway.

 

A soft sigh slipped free from behind the lips of Ricky as he shot a look at Bobby before looking at Michelle with a more apologetic expression.

 

Ricky: Don’t mind him, he’s still mad about you kicking him out of the apartment that time.

 

She rolled her eyes at both of them.

 

Michelle: I imagine he’d be real mad if I had his ass kicked out of here as well, wouldn’t he? 

 

She turned her attention to Bobby and before he could say something to her, she shot her hand up about an inch away from his face.

 

Michelle: Not one person in this room asked you for your opinion, and it would bode you well to not speak to me again unless I ask you too.

 

Bobby: If you were anyone else..

 

But before Bobby could finish that train of thought, Ricky intervened, speaking up with a topic that wouldn’t really lighten the mood but shift the heat onto a much better source.

 

Ricky: Warstein and them. They called y’all a buncha idiotic parasites. I mean, me and Paul gonna show Dickie and Amari what’s up but ya boy Poptart gotta tend to Warstein’s olelady. He’s good to go?

 

She tossed her long blonde and perfectly curled hair over her shoulder, making sure it grazed across Bobby’s jaw as she turned her attention back to Ricky. 

 

Michelle: Nobody is worried about Shawn Warstein and his fuckmuppets. And you don’t even have to question whether Poptart can handle little Kasey or not, he will snap her in half like a twig, no problem. 

 

She smirked at Ricky.

 

Michelle: I mean, I know you had some trouble with her but he’s like..two of you. She’s just lucky that she doesn’t have to step in the ring with me,  because I’d love nothing more than to hit her with the lights out and teach the little bitch some respect.

 

Even after that not so subtle shot, all Ricky did was give a slight shrug of his shoulders and let an even slighter grin creep across his features.

 

Ricky: That’s great to hear cause when I lose like that? Rookie inexperience, nobody’s really all that surprised. But if that same thing happens to your boy? Ohhh man, that wouldn’t be too good of a look. Specially since he’s like..two of me. And since you’re the one who picked him?

 

Tilting his head to the side, Ricky shook his head before laughing out a bit.

 

Ricky: Wouldn’t be a good look for you either.

 

Bobby: And you need better shampoo. That one smells old.

 

She turned slightly, peering at Bobby from the corner of her eye giving him a dirty look before turning her attention back. 

 

Michelle: I do a lot of things that don’t really look good. If I gave a shit what people think I wouldn’t be where I am today, Little Ricky.  Worry less about what makes me and my guy look bad and worry more about not dropping the ball in the ring with P.  

 

She smiled at him.

 

Michelle: Paul’s a bigger bitch than I am when you fuck him over so, I probably wouldn’t if I were you. Now if you’ll excuse me I have better things to do..

 

She turned and walked away from where Ricky and Bobby were. Bobby scoffed as he let the camera focus on her walking off before turning it back to Ricky.

 

Bobby: What. A. Bitch. I don’t know what the fuck you were thinking.

 

Shaking his head, Ricky chose not to give a response to what Bobby said. Instead, he looked as if he was going to speak up only to hear Michelle scream out that someone was late with her coffee. Letting his attention wander off that way, Ricky took a moment to watch her walk about that room. The way she moved around that meeting area, the blue gown she wore flowing freely with her, it reminded Ricky of the Disney Princesses. Just with the look though, definitely not so much with the attitude.

 

Bobby: When you’re done gawking, you can talk about the match a bit more before Paul gets back.

 

It was as if the words Bobby spoke shook him from his watching. He turned back to Bobby and the camera, a bit of a laugh slipping free. He composed himself a bit before nodding his head.

 

Ricky: Last episode of Venom was one of those honest to goodness silver lining kinda nights. Sure I took the loss against Warstein’s olegirl but at the same time, I was picked up by one of the biggest influences in this business today: The Montuori Brothers. With the knowledge and power they have? There’s no limit to the heights I can reach. And already, you can see the effects of that in the Main Event of this week’s Venom. 

 

We got the Main Event. Me and Paul Montuori against the Brooklyn Champion Amari Kent and the Empire Champion Dickie Watson. This is a match we won’t lose. By any means necessary, we are walking out with that win under our belts. Cause you see, things seem to be becomin a bit more than what they seem.

 

It’s bout a group of guys who are upset with the treatment they’ve received. They’re taking everythin that’s happened straight to heart. That’s the nature of the business. Sometimes, things get..messy. But now look at y’all. You get your little group together. Like the fuckin Losers Club or somethin. And we’re supposed to see it as..what exactly? An uprising? Means to an end? A way to cover your own asses? Nah, that’s not how a logical person sees. The group y’all have got goin? It’s no different than what y’all see as the problem. Sure, let’s create a group that’s gonna wind up doin the exact same shit we have a problem with. Y’all are no better than what you think you’re fightin against.

 

Just then, there was an ear piercing scream of frustration and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out just where it came from. Focus moved off of Ricky and zoomed in on Michelle who had her coffee in her hand. The look of utter disgust on her face showed that something was terribly wrong with her drink. Combine that with the exchange she just had with Ricky and Bobby and she was absolutely livid at this point.

 

Michelle: Are you FUCKING kidding me!?

 

Poor Unpaid Intern Doing This For College Credit: What did I do!?

 

Michelle: What did you do? WHAT!? DID!? YOU!? DO!?

 

Those words, despite the small frame they came from, carried enough bass and power to shake mountains. Ricky and Bobby both were extremely invested in what was going on. That was when Michelle confused the hell out of everyone involved by taking a drink from that cup of iced coffee she was given. And then, without a word of warning, spit it into the intern’s face. The poor girl was frozen like a deer in headlights, droplets of coffee falling from her jawline and littering the white button down shirt she wore.

 

Michelle: I asked for light ice. LIGHT! ICE! 

 

As soon as that last word left her lips, she pulled the lid off of that cup and proceeded to dump the entire contents of that cup onto the head of the stunned intern. Both Ricky and Bobby couldn’t help but to audibly gasp in shock. Once she was done, coffee freely dripped from that woman and the clothes she wore. Not only that, there were a few pieces of ice lingering in the woman’s done up hair.

 

Michelle: Does that FEEL like light ice?

 

That intern wasn’t able to answer that question. Clearly she was doing her best not to go into a nervous breakdown from just how she was being treated here.

 

Michelle: I didn’t think so. Now get the FUCK out of here and send Paul back in here.

 

A single yet meek nod was given as that intern began to walk near that door. Before she could safely get through it, Michelle spoke aloud.

 

Michelle: And on the way out, tell Paul I fired your incompetent ass! 

 

That door was opened and out walked the intern. The attention of Ricky and Bobby both was just stuck at this point. They couldn’t look away if they wanted to. That is, until Michelle threw that empty coffee cup, the feeling of it connecting with and bouncing off of the side of Big Ass Bobby’s head brought them back to reality.

 

Michelle: Mind your business! And somebody get someone in here to clean up this fucking mess!

 

If Bobby bit his tongue any harder, it would’ve been cut clean in two. Shaking his head, he looked towards Ricky with the most judgmental and questioning look possible.

 

Bobby: And THAT does it for you? That’s what you go for?

 

The young Rodriguez laughed aloud as he took one last look over at Michelle, unable to resist slightly biting at his own lower lip. Turning back to face Bobby, Ricky shrugged his shoulders rather nonchalantly, not an ounce of shame shown from that man.

 

Ricky: ..holy shit, it does. 

 

Bobby: Yeah, I can see it. But anyways, back to the task at hand.

 

Ricky: Oh shit, right. The match.

 

Clearing his voice, Ricky turned fully around, hopefully with his back facing her, he’d be better able to focus on the task at hand.

 

Ricky: Y’know, did any one of you ever stop and just think: Maybe it’s you? Maybe you’re the problem? Pretty damn sure I know the answer to that so don’t even bother. I’m in the same boat as you guys, really, I am. I came in at the ass end of OPW and I had more than my fair share of problems with more than a few people. But look at me now. They love me. The very people I had problems with now accept me with open arms. 

 

And you know why? Cause I didn’t throw a fit when people tried to talk me down. I didn’t rally up a buncha other fucks to try and help me fight my battles. I didn’t give a shit who it was: Austin Ramsey, Brandon Moore, Dane Preston, Damon Riggs even. If you had some off the wall shit to say to me, I’m going to step right up into your face and I’m going to call your ass out on it. THAT is why I’ve been accepted like I have been. THAT is why I’m in the position I am and you fucks are where you are. THAT is what makes me a man standin alongside another man as we get ready to face a couple temper tantrum throwin little BOYS!

 

The passion and intensity was as clear as crystal with every word he spoke, with every movement his body made.

 

Ricky: That’s what makes me better than any one of you. That’s what makes me better than you, most of all, Amari. You had some off the wall shit to say and I stepped up into your face about it. And when I did? You bitched out. You don’t fuckin deserve that title. You don’t even deserve to be here. You’re a fuckin coward hidin behind some high road bullshit. Ain’t shit but your little bitch partner you can hide behind when time comes at Venom. But please do, hide behind that little boy tag team partner you got there.

 

Speakin of our interim Empire Champion. That fifteen minutes is nearly up. It’s only a matter of time now until everyone sees just what sooo many other people have to say about you. Not champion material. Trash. Problematic..and not even in the good way. Sure, you can shrug it off and call it assholes being assholes but c’mon now. A handful of people? Sure, assholes being assholes. But when it’s this many people? All saying the exact same things about you? People you’ve worked for. People you’ve worked with? There has to be some truth to that and that truth is gonna get exposed just the same.

 

You’re the same as Amari. You don’t belong at the level you’re supposed to be representing. You got lucky enough to survive a match where everyone else was already beat to shit. What happened when you fought next? Dane came in and despite interference, he pinned you. One. Two. Three. THAT is our Empire Champion. And what happened next, Dickie? Y’know, against Tommy Kain? We left you layin on your back. We split your shit open. 

 

Now that I think about it? I can’t really blame you for bandin together with that bitch Amari, that hack Warstein, and his olegirl, of course. You need someone to bail you out when you get in over your head. Cause we’ve all seen what happens when you get in over your head and you have nobody to pull you to safety. You fuckin drown. There comes a time when you have to ask yourself the big questions. Ones like..am I really cut out for all of this? I mean, at least from what I’ve seen, you can’t cut it in the ring and when it comes to outside the ring? You got paper thin skin just beggin to be ripped to shreds.

 

No sooner than Ricky finished what he was saying, that door swung open pretty aggressively. He and Bobby instantly looked towards the door to see Joe Montuori storming into that room and verbally jumped right into Michelle’s ass. Ricky couldn’t help but to feel a bit bad about the conversation but not Bobby. The big man couldn’t help laughing at the conversation happening. 

 

The highly combustible situation was gracefully handled by Paul before tempers flared too much. Ricky watched as Michelle walked out of the office, leaving just the four of them. Paul took his seat behind the desk as Joe took to making everyone a drink, more than likely to quell the negative feelings Michelle brought out in him. As he passed out those drinks, Joe asked that single question. Ricky shook his head while Paul gave an actual answer. Nodding his head in full agreement, Ricky took a drink from that glass, ready to go over what they needed to do in their match.

 

Bobby clearly didn’t hear the part about the camera as he was taking a drink from his glass. Seeing everyone looking at him, everything clicked. He hesitated for just a moment before looking to Ricky for confirmation. Seeing the nod given, it was all Ricky needed to say as Bobby lowered the camera, turning it off in the process. And with that, the scene faded to black.