“This is all we’ve got?” whispered Bill Buckley, as he looked at his notes, “I thought there were a good seven or eight more. And where’s Troy?”
“Nobody’s seen Troy all day,” replied Ivy, “If he shows up tonight, he’s certainly not going to dignify this meeting with his presence.”
Amidst the rumors of the CSWA closing shop after the GOLD RUSH, Commissioner Thomas surprised the world (and himself) when he sent out Ivy’s press release about PRIMETIME in Chapel Hill.
Then he didn’t show up. For Ivy, this temporary stop-gap she signed on for is looking more and more like Hotel California.
“Cam, can you close the door please?”
As the Presidential Champion shut the door near the back of the meeting room, Ivy stepped on top of a folding table in order to see everyone in the room. She looked at Bill Buckley and gestured for him to join her on the table.
“Firstly I want to thank you guys for being here,” said Ivy, pacing, “We had a great showing at Anniversary, but the big question from there was, where do we go from here? Bill and I have been doing this far too long, and neither of us want to go home. Do you?”
Murmurs in the negative rose from the roster.
“We’ve got a lotta work to do to get back to where we were when we were at the top of our game, but we just need to be patient,” continued Ivy, “We need to do what we do best – wrestle hard, talk hard, and give the people something to remember. I’ve worked with almost all of you for years now, and I know what you can do.”
She locked eyes with Eron. “Even when we’ve had personal problems, you’ve known how to deliver.” Eron nodded silently.
“—make history again!”
At the back of the room, Commissioner Thomas strode confidently through the people.
“Not now, Stephen!” whispered Ivy, under the guise of leaning over to welcome him.
“Hogwash!” replied the Commissioner, as he stood on the table, “This is no mere wrestling promotion. This is the CSWA! Do—“
He stopped, and stared at Bill Buckley. After a few seconds, Buckley got the hint and hopped down to the floor.
“This is the CSWA,” continued Thomas, “do you know what that means?”
In the back, Cameron Cruise raised his hand.
“That means this is the greatest force in sports, entertainment, or sports entertainment!” answered Thomas, apparently asking a rhetorical question, “We can’t take a back step or a half step or a step sandwich, we have to take Gold Rush and make tonight even bigger! Can we do it?”
Nobody answered, but most of the roster looked towards Ivy and Buckley.
“Step Sandwich?” mouthed Unified Champion Dan Ryan, questioningly. Ivy shook her head and looked down.
“Well then,” said Thomas, unfazed, “Go get ‘em!”
It was clearly a dismissal. The roster quietly filed out of the room – starting with the old hats who knew how insane Thomas was, and ending with the newer additions, torn between wanting to smack him upside the head and wanting to get to the ring for their match.
“What the hell, Thomas?” asked Ivy, once the room was cleared, “That’s exactly not what we wanted to do here.”
“This is exactly not your company, Ivy,” replied Thomas, “This is the CSWA, and the CSWA equals greatness. We’re—“
“We need to get back to greatness,” interrupted Ivy, “And we need to do it with realistic goals and benchmarks. When I was in charge of the fWo—“
“Bla, bla, bla,” interrupted Thomas, “And where is that company now? You work for me, you work my way.”
With a flourish, Commissioner Thomas left the room. Ivy turned to Buckley, who had wisely remained silent through the diatribe, and sighed.
“Why do I work here again?”
“Because most of the company would quit if you weren’t the buffer zone between the boys and the office?”