As Kenzie lay beaten and sore on the mat, listening to the fans cheer Beth's name, she couldn't help but smile. She quickly caught herself and tried to pull of a grimace. Kenzie rolled onto her side, pretending that her ribs were injured. The referee drops down to his knees and mouths a few inaudible words. She nods her head, pretending to know what he just whispered.
The ref puts his hands under her armpits and helps Kenzie to her feet. She struggles to straighten her back as she wraps her arm tightly around her rib cage She glances at Beth, who is standing on the middle rope with the belt above her head. Kenzie shoots her a quick glare before limping forward. The defeated Diva slowly slides herself out of the ring.
This next part was going to be the hardest... Much harder than getting the courage to step out around the curtain... Even harder than actually getting in the squared circle and wrestling... Kenzie started her walk of shame down the long ramp, keeping her head down. She watches her feet as she moves, taking slow, careful steps. She shoves the heavy, black curtain out of the way, leaving Beth and the fans behind her.
Kenzie immediately drops the act and smiles broadly. She stretches out her arms and pops her shoulders. Her first match went well! In fact, she would go as far as to saying it was great! Kenzie felt that she pulled off every move with confidence! She had slipped up a few times, but Beth was able to quickly cover her mistakes. Kenzie twists her back until she hears it pop and then relaxes.
At one point in the ring, Beth had whispered, "Good effort," in her ear and those words were all that she could currently think about. Kenzie felt on top of the world! She couldn't wait to go back to the locker room to get to her cell phone, which was surely blowing up with texts from her family. She starts to make her way there when a voice from behind stops her.
"That was a decent enough match." She turns to find a a man leaning against the wall. His foot is propped up against the cement and his arms are crossed over his chest. He's wearing a light blue zip up jacket that covers his gray shirt. "Even though you lost."
"Thank you?" Kenzie replies with her brow knitted together. "I'm not really sure if I'm supposed to take that as a compliment or not."
"Take it however you want." She stares at the man for a moment, trying to find some sort of humor in his face, but he wears a blank expression. Kenzie tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and looks down at the floor. The victorious feeling she had just seconds ago had completely vanished with his words.
"I just mean that it's very obvious you're a newbie." She glances up at him, studying the man who was criticizing her match. He has dark circles and bags under his tired eyes. His chin and jawline are covered in facial hair. He wore an old, weathered looking hat that cast a slight shadow over his forehead. He ran his hand across his mouth, his fingers brushing over his lip ring.
"You've got a lot of improving to do, but hey, so does most of the younger talent."
"So you're basically telling me that I suck." Kenzie crosses her arms, feeling defensive.
"No. I never said that you suck." He shot back. "I said you need improvement. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that you did great with your first match and to keep up the good work because I'd be lying. You have a lot of improvement to do and I doubt anyone else around here will tell you so." She backs off after hearing the irritation in his voice. Kenzie glances around for a few seconds and then sighs.
"Thank you for your input. But why are you telling me this? We don't even know each others names."
"Because I look out for the new talent. And that," He points at her and scoffs, "that has to be one of the most idiotic things I've ever heard."
"What? About our names?"
"Yes. No one with half a brain in their head steps foot in this business without knowing who the WWE Champion is." Kenzie sucks in a deep breath and rubs her hand across her arm. This man was rudely blunt, and very intimidating. Not only had he ruined her mood, but he had hurt her feelings as well. Kenzie blinks the hot tears away and clears her throat, deciding to change the subject.
"I'm Kenzie Gunn." She shortly says as extends her arm, waiting for a handshake. The champion glances down and pauses for a brief second before taking her small fingers into his own.
"Am I supposed to be impressed?" He asks.
"That you have the same last name as Billy Gunn? Do you want me to backtrack now and apologize for being so honest with you because you're the daughter or niece or whoever of a member of DX and NAO?"
"No. I was just telling you my name." He raises his eyebrows.
"So you want an introduction now? Please don't tell me that you actually expect me to tell you my name too."
"It's like you said. Nobody steps into this business without knowing who the WWE Champion is." Kenzie pulls her hand away and turns to head to the locker room. She only makes it a few feet before the voice stops her again.
"Just to keep the record straight, I'm CM Punk." Kenzie bites the inside of her cheek and then storms off. Once she reaches the locker room, she barges in and goes for her bag. She digs through it, pulling out her clothes and toiletries before stomping her way to the showers.
As the hot water pours over her tense muscles, Kenzie finds herself beginning to relax. A few tears of frustration runs down her cheeks but she ignores them, reaching for the shampoo. She takes her time washing her hair and body, thinking about everything that had just happened.
She had heard rumors that the WWE Champion was a real jerk, she just had no idea how big of a one he really was. And how dare he judge her very first match! She had gone out there and gave everything she had for the audience, and yet he says to her that it simply was, "decent." And telling her that she needed to improve? If he was going to criticize her, he might as well tell her what exactly it is that she's doing wrong! Besides, Beth Phoenix had told her she was doing well! She had even whispered, "Good effort." during the match.
Kenzie slaps the shower button and slowly, the water shuts off. She stands for a few seconds, shivering in the steam. Now that she thought about it... "Good effort," didn't seem like all that much of a compliment. It sounded more like something someone would say to a child who had failed a test. And Kenzie knew that she had messed up quite a few times in the ring. Maybe Punk wasn't being a jerk after all...
Maybe he really was just looking out for her... Why, Kenzie didn't know. But he had taken the time to wait for her match to be over and confronted her with his opinion. He hadn't said anything outright mean to her, but then again, he wasn't very nice either. He was just... Honest. She couldn't be mad at him for trying to help, could she?
Deciding not to worry about it, Kenzie steps out of the shower and wraps a towel around her body tightly. After drying off, she dresses herself in a pair of pants and a light pink hoodie. She walks out to the lockers, stuffing the towel back into her bag. Just as she's folding her ring gear, she hears the door open. She zips her bag shut and then turns to find Eve, with Kelly Kelly at her side, walking into the room.
"Hey, I've been looking for you!" Eve smiles, but Kenzie doesn't even glance in her direction. She stares at Kelly Kelly, finding herself slightly taken aback by the beauty of the girl.
Kelly Kelly's hair was bleached blonde and reached her waist in thick curls. She wore so much make-up that it took Kenzie a minute to figure out the color of her eyes. Kelly Kelly looks down at her phone, smiling. Realizing that she was still staring, Kenzie quickly turns her attention away, pulling a brush out of a side pocket of her bag.
"Kelly, this is Kenzie." Eve places a hand on her friend's shoulder in order to get her attention.
"Hello." Kenzie says.
She shoots a look from under her eyelashes at the new girl. So this was her, huh? The newest addition to the roster? Kelly Kelly almost laughs but quickly stifles it by biting her lip. The girl was short, much shorter than any of the other Divas. She had a petite frame, much like Aj Lee's, but she seemed to be shapeless and muscle-less in her baggy hoodie.
Kenzie's face was very round, making her look almost child-like. Her eyes were big. Kelly would even go as far as to say that they were disproportional to the rest of her small body. Her complexion was creamy, but she was pale, almost like she had never tanned in her life. Despite the make-up, Kelly Kelly could see some very light acne scarring in the girl's cheeks.
Overall, the girl was fairly pretty, Kelly supposed, but nothing close to exceptional... But something about Kenzie made her feel put off...
"It's nice to meet you." Kelly Kelly says as she tosses her hair over her shoulders. What was it about the new Diva that was giving her this feeling? She seemed like a nice enough person... But there just seemed to be something off... Almost like something about her was fake...Kelly pauses for a moment and then decides to give something a try.
"You did a good job tonight."
"Thank you!" Kenzie brightly says, pulling the brush through a few stubborn tangles. "That really means a lot, especially coming from someone like you!" Kelly Kelly flashes a fake smile. So Kenzie was one of those girls... Way too nice and a suck up. Those were the kind of people who got under Kelly's skin simply because she found them fake.
"Did you manage to get rid of those nerves?" Eve asks.
"Yeah, kind of! I did everything you said and it really seemed to help. Thank you so much..." Kelly Kelly bites the inside of her lip and rolls her eyes as she turns her attention back to her phone. Kenzie catches the Diva's actions and falls silent.
"Well do you want to start packing up?" Eve asks Kelly. The two head toward the furthest set of lockers and begin to pull out multiple bags and loose pieces of clothing. Kenzie slides her tennis shoes on and quickly ties them, biting back the words she wanted to ask Kelly Kelly.
"So a few people are meeting up at Mike's house for dinner after the show. You wanna go?" The blonde Diva asks as she tosses her white gym bag over her shoulder.
"How far away does he live? I have an early flight home tomorrow.
"He said that he lives like fifteen minutes away from the arena."
"Well... Yeah, I'll go." Eve says with a small sigh. "What about you, Kenzie? Are you coming?" Kelly Kelly shoots Eve an irritated look. She knew that Kenzie could see, but she didn't care. She didn't like the girl. Yes, it seemed a little unfair since they just met... But Kelly really just did not like Kenzie. She didn't like how hard the girl tried to get everyone to like her, and she especially didn't like how fake she made herself out to be by trying far too hard to be nice.
"No. But thanks for the offer." Kenzie quietly says.
"Alright, that's cool!" Eve smiles and then turns away. What the heck was Kelly Kelly's problem? Kenzie was sure that she hadn't done or said anything offensive, and yet Kelly was acting as if she absolutely could not stand her.
"Have a good night!" Kenzie calls out as the two head for the door.
"Yeah, you too!" Eve says with a wave.
"It was nice meeting you, Kelly!" Kenzie tries once again to be nice to her, but Kelly Kelly turns her back and follows her friend without so much as saying goodbye. Kenzie bites the inside of her cheeks as she watches the two Divas leave. Once the door shuts, she unzips her bag and pulls out her cell phone.
Kenzie quickly goes through her texts, glancing over the messages from her grandparents and a few family friends. Each text is pretty much the same, telling her how good of a job she did and how great she looked on the TV. Kenzie couldn't help but think back to what Punk had said, and she found herself wondering who was lying... The people she cared about or the guy that she just met.. And why was she thinking of him again?
Kenzie shakes her head and gathers up her bag, checking through it just to make sure that she had grabbed all of her belongings. Just as she was about to head out the door, her phone vibrates. With a sigh, Kenzie digs into her jeans pocket and got out her phone. The name on the screen made her heart skip a beat. She felt excited and nervous at the same time. Kenzie sucks in a deep breath and then pulls up the message from the one person who meant more to her than anyone else... Her father.
"Don't think that what I'm about to say is going to change how I feel about you doing this, because it doesn't... Anyway, good job tonight, baby girl. You made your daddy proud. But next time, wear some longer shorts, would ya?" She reads the message carefully and smiles.