(Santa Fe Combat Sports is a fictional work about a small professional wrestling group in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Settings maybe real, but all characters are works of fiction.)
To anyone who knew Santa Fe Plaza, it is known to be a center for artists and hippies. Santa Fe itself is known to be a high brow retreat. If you weren’t an artist or hippie, you were a person with a lot of money to blow. That, or your family has been in Santa Fe for generations, and you’ve known nothing else. But Santa Fe Plaza is the heart of the tourist part of town.
Three months ago, Jared Pavlovich moved to Santa Fe as the new governor of the great state of New Mexico a snowy New Year’s Day. Jared had grown up in Chicago. He decided to move his family to New Mexico 10 years ago, upset with all the corruption in the city.
Jared ran as a supporter of the blur collar population of the state. He supported immigrants and citizens alike. But he could help think that the state capital was a bit stuffy in its presentation. There needed to be a little blue collar excitement injected in this part of the state. There was only one person he knew he could trust. So he called up an old friend from Chicago that was living over in Arizona.
So, on April Fools Day, there was to be a press conference in Santa Fe Plaza. Jared had picked this day specifically. He wanted people to believe it was the biggest joke to be perpetrated in the history of Santa Fe. Because in the business he was inviting in to the state capital, the motto was always “expect the unexpected”. However, there were only two news crews that showed up for this announcement. That’s a disappointing result for a “surprise” announcement by the Governor’s office.
At three minutes to the noon hour, Jared’s motorcade rolled up behind the stage in Santa Fe Plaza, right next to the Palace of Governors. Security detail opened a door, and the governor stepped out, along with a slightly shady looking businessman, and a tall, fairly jacked man who looked like the last person you wanted to run in to in an alley at night. The governor stepped on the stage to address the two cameras, and a small group of Santa Fe citizens who were gathering in the plaza since it was lunch time. Promptly at noon, the governor stepped up to the microphones.
Comparatively speaking, a thunderous applause erupted from the crowd in the plaza. Given the fact there was about 20 people out there, it actually sounded only like a mere distraction. But the sentiment was real. Jared was the first person in quite some time to win the governorship with at least 2/3 of all votes in the state.
“When I arrived in this city to begin the awesome responsibility of governing the state of New Mexico, I realized one big thing. We needed a little more diversity in entertainment. We needed something that has a chance to appeal to the most people possible. We also needed something that would have a chance to unite the state of New Mexico even more than it already is. After doing some brainstorming, I had what I thought to be a bright idea. So I called this man behind me and asked him if he’d be willing to help. As a personal favor, with no money exchanging hands, he said yes in a heartbeat, because he’s just that good of a friend. I present to you, from Chicago, by way of Phoenix…MICHAEL MORDRID!”
Some polite applause occurred. But once again, there isn’t many people in the plaza. The slightly shady looking businessman stepped up to the microphone, stopping momentarily to shake hands with the governor.
“Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Michael Mordrid. Yes, I’m friends with this guy here. We go all the way back to childhood in Chicago! But enough about this guy, eh? This press conference is about what I can do for YOU! Frankly, Santa Fe is a little bit of a stiff town. But lucky for you, I know how to loosen you guys up! So, with the blessing of my friend, the governor of the GREAT state of New Mexico, I, Michael Mordrid, will bring to you Santa Fe Combat Sports!
“What is Santa Fe Combat Sports you may ask? While I can’t let the cat out of the bag, I can tell you that bag will be in the middle of an 18×18 ring in this very plaza the last Saturday of every month. No, this is not April Fools, alright? We’re even starting at the end of this month. We’ll put on a one hour show in this plaza every month. There will be a championship. And what kind of guy would I be if I didn’t bring along a champion? I need the right champion. I need a man who is representative of what we’re trying to do here. That right man is right behind me, but I’ll introduce him to you in a minute.”
Michael turns around to an assistant, who pulls an adorned, leather championship belt out of a bag. Michael takes a hold of it, and turns back to the microphones.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the Territorial Heavyweight Championship. Why “Territorial” you may ask? Well, some of the most chaotic and violent times in this history of this great state were back in the territory days, just like in my new home state of Arizona. We were the center of the Old West. Chaos and violence reigned. Battles between US military and the Indians who were seen as enemy at that time. Battles between neighboring counties. Battles between citizens and corporations. The death of iconic Old West figures like Billy the Kid. It never stopped in the New Mexico Territory.
“So, I am trying to bring that same chaos and violence that ruled that time, but in a more controlled environment. My 18×18 ring will showcase some of the most vicious fighters you have ever witnessed! And the man…NAY, the BEAST that will represent this chaos and violence I hope to present, from Saint Petersburg, Russia…he is a three time, Russian national sambo champion and a two time Olympian in power lifting…none other than VLADIMIR IVANOVICH EMELENENKO!
“But you may call him VLAD THE DESTROYER! I must admit, the name billing is a rather cheap and corny attempt at promotion, but wait until you see him in my ring. He has knocked down every challenge to come at him so far.
“But, to sweeten the pot for these events, I will allow a citizen of the GREAT state of New Mexico to challenge Vlad for the championship each month, until I have determined a suitable challenger for Vlad, or until Vlad has been beaten.”
Michael’s assistant cracks up laughing behind him, but quickly stops when Michael shoots him a look of disapproval.
“All a challenger has to do is gain my confidence that they will not hold me responsible for what happens to them in that 18×18 ring, and gain the confidence of the people of the GREAT state of New Mexico that they stand a chance against the champion. I look forward to seeing who steps up by the end of the month.”
Michael, Vlad, and Jared start to walk off. Jared’s press secretary steps up to the microphone long enough to let everyone know questions will be fielded via the governor’s office the next day.
Also published on Medium.