He sat across my desk from me and scowled. The Straight Shooter was known for not being political in the locker room. All he cared about was doing a good job. As a wrestler and as a former booker. He was my best friend -- had been my best friend for years. We’d won titles in Japan together. Dominated the Total Championship Wrestling tag division for years. He had more singles success, was probably a more entertaining wrestler -- had a little bit more ‘It’ Factor. He had booked for Tommy for years. Done a good job. Been reliable. Loyal. BriCo bought the company, Rhodes took over, and he was suddenly one of the boys again.
“**** Rhodes. **** BriCo. The whole set up. How long had I been there? Twenty one years or so? A long time. First they demote me and now they let me go while I was rehabbing my shoulder. Screw them.” He was mad. Madder than he normally gets.
“What are you going to do now?” I asked him. I was genuinely concerned about my friend. He had torn his rotator cuff several months ago and had been rehabbing it. He finally had a clean bill of health, but he also found himself unemployed and bitter. Never a good combination.
“I’m going to come work for you.” He said with a grin. Not so mad now.
“Say that again?”
“I’m going to work for you, Robby. We’ve been friends for how long? We were partners for how long? We crossed the globe together. I wasn’t able to come help you when you got your shop running, but now I can. I don’t need the money, but I’ve got some time left in me in the ring and I’ve got a mind that still works great for the business.” He was very blunt. He wasn’t asking. He was telling me.
“Joel, I can’t ask you to do that.”
“You’re not. I’m telling you. I was tired of the politics anyway. Kyle is a son of a b*** now. Focused only on making sure BriCo is happy with him. Ricky retired. He let go of Edd. Fred. Lost Jay. Lost Guide. He’s failing. It’s a sinking ship. They tossed me off and now I’m coming here to help you build the next generation of talent. I can work with the guys in the ring, help them get good. I can help you book. I can help you produce shows. We’ll be a team again.”
I leaned back in my chair. He was making me a good offer. I’d only been booking for two years. He’d booked for a lot longer and a lot more shows. I could use his creativity. I could also benefit from having another experienced guy in the ring. We were producing even more graduates from the school and having a steady hand to work with them would be great. I could have Joel anchor Rocky Mountain Wrestling: Live. I had been his senior producer after I retired.
“Okay, Joel. I’d love to have you. If you’re sure.” I told him honestly.
“I’m sure.” He said with a grin. “It’s good to be partners again.”