New York City, 1969. Danno Garland is a middling member of the National Wrestling Council, a secretive syndicate of pro-wrestling promoters. He’s kept his head down for fifteen years, but now he’s found a new heavyweight champion, Babu, and plans to use him to build a wrestling empire. Blocked, though, by the NWC, Danno makes a deal with Florida boss Proctor King to ensure Danno’s man will be the next title holder. In exchange, the belt will go to Proctor’s son, Gilbert, once he’s out of prison in a couple of years.
But things don’t go according to plan, and now Danno is standing in a sold-out Shea Stadium on the night of biggest wrestling card of all time, and neither Babu nor Gilbert has shown up. Meanwhile, Lenny Long, Danno’s driver, is walking dazedly from the overturned van that was supposed to bring them to the venue, and the only sign of Gilbert is his foot.
Across the country, Proctor nervously watches the show on TV, wondering why his screw-up of a son doesn’t already have the championship belt in his hands. It’s taken four years of pay-offs, double dealing, and bone-breaking to arrange this match, and if all that’s gone to waste, he might just have to take a business trip to New York. The “fake” world of professional wrestling is going to get very real.
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