Wednesday, February 01, 2006

G.L.O.W. Diary 2

I had changed my mind about firing the extra girls. If they wanted to leave on their own, it was no problem. But I wasn't going to hurry them out the door. Yes, I had grown fond of them.

Over the weekend, I had good news and bad news. The good news was that Yoshihiro Momota, Paul Boesch, and Dick Kroll were all happy to sign with us. The bad news was that they wanted more money than anyone else to appear. I hoped they'd be happy hanging out backstage, because I wouldn't be able to use them.

I also spent a few bucks out of pocket on local artistic talent, and made the Hollywood-Los Feliz JCC look like the Hotel Riviera. At least superficially. Just the few people who watched our show last week would be fooled. I figured that if they were interested enough to tune in again, they deserved some semblance of continuity.

*

I got the gang together in the locker room and laid out the details of the story I'd written. The major players, except for McLane of course, were happy with their roles. Monty volunteered to be the mysterious thug who would threaten McLane. I wasn't going to suggest it myself, but I had the feeling he'd grab it.

Learning my lesson from last week, I had scouted the venue and learned there was an equal mix of English and Spanish speaking audiences. Booking the main event was a no brainer - Spanish Red jobbing to Mountain Fiji.

"Damnit, isn't this humiliating enough without me appearing so stupid as to bet anyone would go over Mountain Fiji?"

"Spanish Red, what would you do to beat Mountain Fiji?"

"Anything it takes, gringo!" she quipped, earning herself laughter and applause. She gave me a big grin.

I looked around to see if McLane had an answer to that, but he was already gone. Oh, well, back to business.

"Americana."

"Yes, Joel?"

"Penny tells me you're improving. Keep up the good work."

Her face lit up. Now I had to spread it around.

"That goes for all of you. While I am limited by a budget, I will do what I can to see that your hard work pays off."

That earned me some cheers. Now I was ready to face the boos.

"As for those of you who have already worked hard and deserve every penny you get, I'm sorry. I don't know how long it will be before I can put you on the show. I'm sure you will have no problem moving on to bigger better things, so I won't keep you here.

"That isn't to say you're being released - if you're willing to stick it out until things improve, you won't be forgotten."

As I had expected, Hollywood and Colonel Ninotchka said their goodbyes and hugged their friends. I told them that they were welcome back at any time, but doubted I'd ever see their lovely faces in my wrestling ring again. Or any other part of them, for that matter.

What I didn't expect was that Dee stayed behind. Which was good, because I was worried that half the roster would have left with her. McLane had laughed that idea off, but I wasn't so sure.

I also didn't expect Kitty Burke to speak up then. "Does that go for me as well?"

I was in a pickle of my own design, for sure. Jackie had guaranteed Kitty would work at each PPV in exchange for an exclusive contract. But the next PPV wasn't until May!

"I'll be honest, Kitty. Unless things really pick up, I cannot afford to use you until May."

Gasps and whispers were heard for about two seconds before getting cut off by Dick Kroll clearing his throat. Now I understood what Penny was talking about.

We spent the rest of the time contributing to Tina's segment, though this time we had only 10 minutes to spare. I wanted Sally doing her schtick, hoping to get our ratings up. The only change was that she would be closing the show, letting Americana and Corporal Kelly jerk the curtain.

We packed the place! All 300 seats were full!

The crowd was hot, which I wasn't expecting, and they weren't impressed with the opening match even though Jackie's commentary gave it a boost. Corporal Kelly cheated her way to a pin at two and a half minutes.[D]

Tina did her thing. It wasn't spectacular, but it was better than last week.[C]

McLane did fine in starting off the Corruption Scandal plot. Here's his first segment with Jackie.

David McLane: I am so psyched for this match coming up, Rocky's Mom!
Jackie Stallone: That's a first, McLane. Do you have money riding on it or what?
David McLane: As a matter of fact, I do!
Jackie Stallone: You what? I, for one, am absolutely disgusted. You have insider information! That is so unethical, it makes me sick!

Well, the crowd thought it was okay.[C]

I couldn't believe my eyes and it was too late to fix it anyway. Instead of Spanish Red vs Mountain Fiji, the crowd got Americana vs California Doll. Somehow, McLane was at the bottom of this.[C-]

Segment two of the Corruption Scandal went as good as the first.

David McLane: Umm... I must have had some bad sushi or something. I feel violently ill.
Jackie Stallone: Where do you think you're going, McLane? I can't do this on my own!
{long pause)
Jackie Stallone: This is Jackie Stallone, and I'll be doing all the announcing for the rest of the night.

I bet I wouldn't see McLane for the rest of the night.[C]

Then Jackie had her final segment of the night.

Jackie Stallone is backstage. She's explaining to someone offscreen that she doesn't know anything about the money owed by David McLane.[C]

The crowd loved Sally. It almost made up for that messed up main event.[A]

We did okay overall.[C-]

After the show, I spoke with all the girls involved - or not involved when they should have been - with that debacle of a main event. Of course, with five different people, I got five different explanations.

"I always make sure I'm ready for crash booking, Joel." said California Doll. "I'm sorry things got screwed up."

Americana gave me a guilty look. "I got a little full of myself from the praise and when I heard Penny was crash booking the main event, I made sure she'd find me first."

"When I saw the girls weren't coming out," said Penny, "I ran to the back to grab whoever was ready. I'm sorry it wasn't the best choice."

"It wasn't that you put the wrong people in the ring, it's that the right people weren't there."

Now it was Emily's turn. "That was my fault. I got stuck in the ladies' room."

Oh, yuck.

"No! What I meant was, my hips got stuck. In the doorway."

I looked at her hips. She had, like they say these days, a lot of junk in the trunk. "I thought the doorway to the ladies' room on this floor was plenty wide, even for you. It's wheelchair accessible."

"It was locked just before our match. I always powder my nose before I get in the ring. Wouldn't want to powder my nose once I got there."

That giggle she always did? It wasn't fake. She giggled like that now.

"So I went upstairs. I guess because of the way the door opens, I could get in but not get out."

"How did you get out, Emily?"

"Mr. McLane came by and took the hinges off the door."

I nodded. It was making sense now. Except for one thing.

"What about you, Red?"

"In the bathroom with her. You think she's the only woman to ever take a piss before a match?"

I sighed. "Okay, ladies. I want you to know that I don't blame any of you for this. I know exactly who is to blame, and I'll deal with them."

Somehow.

"See you next week at the Mayan theater, ladies."

McLane must have slipped off during Tina's segment and locked the ladies' room downstairs. But why was he trying to make the company fail? There had to be more to it than being a thorn in my side.

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