As has become the norm, we venture into the depths of Las Vegas, the cameras zoom out from the hustle and bustle beneath the streets. Gradually the sound diminishes, the lights become dimmer, and we find ourselves in the slum streets of the State of Nevada. What few voices we hear around us speak only foreign languages, mostly Spanish. Children scamper across the cracked pavements, the occasional ex-con pacing corner to corner, their hands trembling, smoke escaping their lips. The children’s playfulness ceases as they see the cameras approaching, the gazes of the whole neighbourhood fall on the Project Violence team, who, with slight panic in their bodies, move forward, trying to ignore the presence of strangers.
After a few minutes they reach their goal. A small gym located at the end of the street, the same place where Garcia made his introduction not more than a couple of chapters ago. But unlike then, the place was now brimming with life. Teenagers and adults alike were practising Judo on the tatami mats. And in the centre of the establishment, Garcia was practising the most basic wrestling techniques with some youngsters.
Any rude side Garcia might display in the ring or on social media goes missing. Although his smile drops as soon as he sees the company cameras, as if wearing a mask his sympathetic look transforms into a mischievous grimace, with tones of hatred and anger in his eyes. Garcia calls the training session to a close, making the young men leave the ring, and focuses his gaze on the cameras.
Adam Garcia: What, are you here to interview your future champion? I don’t like unannounced visits.
The cameramen don’t know how to respond, they keep quiet. After a few seconds of silence, Adam, tired of waiting, decides to jump from the third rope and lands in front of the cameramen. He grabs the camera and taps the lens a couple of times, until it focuses completely on him.
Adam Garcia: “For all those who boo my name.All those who hate me, for my locker room mates.Me, I don’t fight for you. Years ago I would give anything to have an audience chanting my name, and indeed, I did, but as with any celebrity, the audience spotlight only lasts until the next new thing comes along that can surprise you.I learned my lesson.”
Garcia smiles bitterly
Adam Garcia: “The last two years, I fought for myself, my survival.To build a legacy full of glory and gold. And rest assured, that goal hasn’t changed. But 2023 was a year… Full of surprises, I met people like Jack McGrath or Reid Ashford, CONTAGION. Wherever they are, I will always have them in my soul. I learned, that I am not alone, that there are people who care about me. People who have been through similar situations, people like me”.
Garcia gestures to his surroundings, teenagers marooned in a dumpy place united as a family.
Adam Garcia: “So in 2024, I add one more goal to my list. To fight not only for myself, but for all those who will follow in my footsteps. And don’t think I’m going soft. James Mendoza will remain as merely another piece knocked off the board in the face of the Bull’s pressure. And when I’m done with Mendoza, so will the next guy on the list. Puck?, Satake?, Akechi?. No matter who I face, the result will always be the same. My opponent smashed to the mat, as the referee raises my hand declaring me the winner. “
Garcia raises his index finger
” And that means that sooner or later, management will realize that they can’t delay my rise to the top. Legends will tumble and make way for a new dynasty led by the Mad Bull. Adam Garcia.”
Adam points to his waist moving his hands as if holding an invisible belt.
Adam Garcia: “I will bring it home, and enjoy it with the only people that really matter. Mi famila.”