We're in trouble.
If you were a Lunchamaniac, or maybe just a lowly primary stakeholder of WrestleUTA, which of the following would cause you the most heartburn?
1. A GoFundMe request by your Champion for over a billion dollars, citing something along the lines of ‘Crime Fighting, kinda’ as the immediate need.
2. COVID-19 (no, this was not a bribe from Jarvis Valentine)
3. A letter, sitting on a desk in Lunchbox Larry’s live-in hotel room, with the words ‘I Quit’ scribbled across its envelope.
Now what if I told you that you had to worry about all three?
Glad I got your attention.
Let’s start bottom up. Because that's how countdowns work.
We begin hovering magically over the UTA Championship, which is draped over a rather large, muscular shoulder. The flickering light from a nearby television is the only thing illuminating the object of our focus.
This isn’t the first time we have seen Larry write a letter out of sheer desperation. And even that one wasn’t the first letter Larry had written to his employer, either. But this letter… this one’s different.
The young UTA Champion signs his name at the bottom of the page and releases a deep sigh. He falls back, causing the desk chair to recline, and runs both hands through his shiny, black hair. Those same hands find their respective arm rests and begin to push.
But then Larry stops. He sits back down, grabs the letter, clears his throat, and starts to read aloud.
“Thank you. I will never be able to say those two words, to everyone involved with both FWF and UTA, enough. This opportunity was one I will never forget. You have given me memories I will enjoy telling my future grandkids.
“But ultimately, like always, my dad was right. I’m not cut out for this life. I’m just a simple guy. And things here have gotten… complex, to say the least. When I signed with FWF, I agreed to work for a small, budding organization that traveled between small venues, competing in front of triple digit crowds at best. And well, to be honest, even that proved to be about as much as I could handle.
“Las Vegas, though? THE UTA?! I’m just… I don’t think I’m the guy you want carrying that banner. I KNOW I’m not the guy you deserve. That privilege belongs to all time greats like Perfection, John Sektor, Doozer, Mike Best, Lupin Cy, Mr. Cool, Madman Slazinski, Mikey Unlikely… wait, is that why you guys signed him? I don’t know why I even care now. This belt’s way better off with him. Heck, it’s better off with Gust. Crazy as he might be, at least that guy knows what he’s doing when he’s not acting like an angry zombie. Shoot, it’s probably better off even if he went full time Whitey McBitey.
“I guess what I’m trying to get at with all this, is I think it’s best for both of us if I just kinda go away now. You have more deserving talent at your disposal. I’d just get in the way, at this point. And, besides, dad really seems like he could use the help back home. Plus, what if something bad happened back there, like they got this sickness circulating, and I wasn’t around to take care of them? Just doesn’t feel right sticking around here doing something I know a buncha guys could do better, while my folks struggle to get by day to day.
“I hope I’ll be remembered for the good times. Not so much the fainty ones. But, ya know… in a way, those were good too. Man I can see myself even looking back at Dead snapping his jaw at me and laughing. What I wouldn’t give to deliver just one last Knuckle Sammy to that demented kisser…
“It’s for the best. Truly. I think I just gotta wrap this up. Feels like I’m rambling. Feels like I’m regretting all I wrote already. But I can’t keep looking back. That’s what ma always says, anyway. So… thanks, again. And good luck. I hope UTA is more successful than ever.
“P.S.: If I could pick anyone to take my spot versus Raging Dead in the comeback show, I’d go with Shawn Kutter. I’d love to see Whitey try to take a bite out of that Chicken Leg. Either him, or WMD… I know that guy’s new, but ever since I was little I wondered who would win in a fight between a pissed off undead and a dragon of wonder. Thanks for not letting me down.”
We transition to the following morning. Lunchbox is pacing around the same hotel room. He can’t help but constantly sneak peeks at the letter on his desk as he makes his rounds. It’s almost like the poor lug expected the thing to move or something.
Then, much to his relief, the default iPhone ringtone fills the all too quiet room. He quickly snaps it up off the desktop and brings it up to the side of his face.
“Hey ma, sorry for all the messages. I just didn’t know what was right. Ya know, with you and dad always telling me to never quit or give up… but on the other hand, I feel like I’d be betraying ya both even more if I didn’t come back now.”
He completes another lap around the perimeter of his room. Then something his mother says causes him to stop. His eyes dart around, a clear indication of thought, and he starts to nod.
“And what’s dad think about that?”
Larry’s eyes bulge in response to his mom’s answer. It takes him a second to reattach his jaw, then he replies, “It… it was his idea, huh? He really thinks?” His question is cut off. “He KNOWS? But, ma… has he even watched any-”
Lunchbox drops his phone. He falls to his knees faster than Mikey Unlikely begging for a title shot and snaps it back up. The young champ returns the phone to the side of his face with such vigor he nearly knocks himself out.
“Dad’s watched every show so far? Even Unsanctioned?”
Larry finally resumes his Nascar race around the room, but this time not out of nerves. This time he smiles, listening to his mother ramble on about how she couldn’t pull his father away from the television when FWF was on.
Then, just like that, he stops again. The barely audible voice on the other end of the line changes from feminine to masculine. His smile vanishes from sight. His face flushes red. His head drops.
Dejected, he mutters back into the cell, “Yeah, Kutter’s my favorite, too… yeah… I know… I know… okay. Love you too, dad.”
He picks the pacing back up, but this time at a much slower rate. He lumbers around and finally replies, “Nah, I’m glad you put him on, ma. Sometimes you gotta hear that kinda stuff. He was right, ya know. FWF was different. In a way, as silly as it sounds, I feel like… I dunno… almost like I WAS the FWF. The whole color matching thing mighta been pure coincidence, but I dunno. It was like there was something more to it. I felt so connected to it all, not just the orange and black. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sound of those fans chanting Lunch-Box over and over again, ma.”
The twenty-four year old rolls his head between his shoulders like a torn up, little kid. Then he continues, “But dad’s right. This ain’t FWF anymore. It’s UTA… and it needs-”
Larry straightens up like a soldier. Equal parts surprised and confused, he manages to blurt out, “D-dad?”
His contorted face slowly straightens, giving way to a smile as it stretches from ear to ear.
“It needs… me?”
His blue eyes electrify.
“You’re right. He has gone too far. He just wants to make this place more complicated than it needs to be. He wants to create chaos. Apparently, he stole all my base. Whatever that means. I'm too afraid to ask. He doesn’t care for the belt, at all. He even said that during the initial tournament… This place… It might be UTA in name, but it’s still FWF… and… IT NEEDS ME! It needs me now more than ever!”
Lunchbox throws a Knuckle Sandwich into the air. If any spirits were lingering around, consider them knocked the fuck out.
“You’re so right, dad! He IS like the Joker! White face and all! Holy crap, I can’t believe I never saw it before.” Larry smacks himself square on the forehead with an open palm. “What an idiot!” His smile quickly fades as his eyes pop. “Wait a sec, dad… does that mean?”
He slowly starts to nod, hanging on his father’s every word.
“Right… yeah… well, I have always hated crime and all that. And I do think it’s kinda weird how this Coronavirus crap is really kicking up with him being all pale and sickly lookin’, biting at people… maybe he’s just coughing real hard. I heard it makes it difficult to breath. Wow… this is all so much. I just never really thought of myself as…” Larry runs his free hand through his hair. It helps him process information. Staring intently at his now sweaty hand, the light finally switches on over the Lunchman’s head. “Oh, you didn’t mean it like that… I’m still Batman, though, in a way? Right? … Yeah, I got it now.”
He nods his head in determination. “Nope, I know exactly what I have to do. Thanks, dad!”
You’re out of promos to watch. It’s time for pornos. Wait, what’s that? Another one of these damn things? Ugh - but it’s from… who? Okay, wait, that needs another read:
“Hello fellow Lunchamaniacs, Zombie haters, and those who would like to bring a possible cause of the Coronavirus to his demise… I’m posting my GoFundMe link below in hopes to raise just over a billion dollars. Yes, that’s $1,000,000,000+ in order to give me the funds necessary to beat this white-faced pandemic of wrestling! Thank you! www.gofundme.com/killthedead #lunchboxlarry #knucklesammy #killthedead”
- Kentucky Tarzan