A TIME TO SHINE
Lisa Ryan was more exhausted than she had ever been in her entire life.
She had only been with the WWF for three weeks, but she had already traveled
halfway across the country and back again. “I don’t know how these people do
it,” she thought. “I can’t even remember where I’m supposed to be going today.”
She was pretty sure it was Alabama. She grabbed her schedule just to make
sure. “Huh,” she laughed. “Atlanta. Well at least I was close.”
When her friend Donna had called her to tell her about the job opening,
she was, to say the least, skeptical. “Donna,” she remembered saying, “I’m a
licensed physical therapist. I planned on working in a hospital or a re-hab
center.” But Donna had been very persuasive. “Honey, you’ll get more than
enough use out of that degree of yours. These people are serious about their
training. Their bodies are their livelihoods. Mr. McMahon is looking for someone
who takes this as seriously as he does.”
The job itself was right up her alley. She would be supervising the fitness
regimens of the WWF Superstars. She always laughed to herself when she
heard that phrase. She pictured a bunch of very well built men and women
running around in red, white and blue tights. But after talking to Mr. McMahon
she understood exactly what being part of the WWF was all about. In addition to
watching how each performer progressed in their workouts, she was in charge of
coordinating and evaluating injury re-habs. It was a time consuming job, but with
each passing week she found she enjoyed it more and more.
Her first week on the job was spent getting to know the men and women
she would be working with. Some of them, like Hardcore Holly were absolute
fanatics about their physical conditioning. Others, like Mideon, adopted a much
more laid back approach. She took the time to sit and talk with each of them to
find out exactly what they did in terms of conditioning. Some were more
interested in building mass, while others, like the Hardy Boys tried to keep a
more lean physique. It was a challenge to be sure. But a challenge, she
Aside from working with all these new people there was the task of trying
to understand all their different personalities. She had to admit she was prone to
think of these people in terms of the characters they portrayed. For example,
The Rock. His character was basically a raving ego maniac. Dwayne Johnson,
on the other hand, was as far from arrogant and self-centered as you could
imagine. The same held true for most of the Superstars. But the one man she
couldn’t quite figure out was Glenn Jacobs. His character, Kane, was supposedly
burned as a child, forced to wear a mask, and was basically the WWF monster.
But from what she could see, he was the shyest most unassuming monster she
had ever seen. Even their first meeting had been unusual.
She went up to him and extended her hand. “Mr. Jacobs? I’m Lisa Ryan.
I’ll be the new physical trainer on staff. “ He turned and looked down at her.
Being almost seven feet tall, he looked down on almost everyone. He put out his
hand. She watched hers disappear into his and waited for the crushing to begin.
But surprisingly, his hand gently wrapped around hers, barely squeezing it at all.
Little did she know that this was the first in a long line of fascinating things she
would learn about this man.
He seemed to like keeping a low profile, if a man that large could do such
a thing. She often wondered if having to wear the mask all the time was at all
bothering to him. “It took some getting used to,” he once told her. “But now, I find
I actually like it.” “Really?” she asked. “It makes it easier for me to become Kane.
People can’t see who I really am.” “And who are you really?” she teased.
“Nobody special,” he replied. But somehow she doubted that.
One of Lisa’s responsibilities was to insure that the athletes were properly
massaged after their matches. Mr.McMahon was a stickler for people keeping in
shape and injury free. He gave her free reign in designing a program of
stretching and massage, which she encouraged all of the Superstars to use, both
before and after their matches. She supervised a staff of three other people to
help with this, but being a hands on type, she very often found her self doing the
post match massages.
This was where she really got to know the people she worked with. They
were relaxed and very often quite talkative. After a few weeks some of them
became quite friendly with her. But not Glenn. For some reason he seemed to
want to keep his distance, which in her mind was really too bad. He was an
incredible looking man. Aside from the obvious killer body, he had amazing blue
eyes. Not a cold, icy blue, but a warm blue, like a summer sky. Add to that his
gorgeous auburn hair and adorable childlike grin......well it was a tough
combination to beat.
She had decided early on to keep all of her relationships professional. But
each time she was with him, she found it harder and harder to keep that
promise. Not that he did anything to encourage her. Quite the opposite. He
seemed to want to keep things professional more than she did. If she had only
known then, how he was really feeling, they could have saved each other a lot of
It was during a post match rub down that she started to get some insight
into the real Glenn Jacobs. As usual he was being quiet. As she kneaded the
muscles in his shoulders she could feel the incredible amount of tension. “Are
you all right?” she asked. “I’m fine. Why??” “You just feel very tight tonight. Did
you stretch before you went out?’ “Who needs to stretch for a 30 second run in?
he asked. “You know as well as I do, that even if you’re only going to do one
move, you have to be warmed up. Are you looking to get injured?” He stood up
suddenly, grabbing his towel. “What possible difference would it make? So they’ll
have to find someone else to be the loser of the week.” He walked off angrily.
The next night at the Smackdown taping she made it a point of making
sure that someone else handle his warm up and cool down massages.
Apparently, she seemed to have a knack for saying the wrong thing. When he
had walked away from her yesterday, she knew how angry and frustrated he had
been. She simply didn’t know what to say to make him feel better. Fortunately, it
was a hectic night, with quite a bit of backstage activity, so they never ran into
each other. It was when she was throwing her bags into the back of her car, that
she heard a door behind her open.
She turned to see him standing there. Their eyes met for s brief second
before she turned away. “Are you angry with me?’ he asked quietly. Her head
snapped up. “I thought you were upset with me,” she said. “Why would you think
that?” “Well, the way you stalked off last night....” He laughed softly. “Kind of
dramatic? Huh?” She looked at him questioningly.
“Ok, I’ll admit, I was a little upset last night. But I’ve had some tome to
think about it. maybe this is all I get. Maybe this is what my career is supposed to
be. Glenn Jabobs, mid-carder.” “Do you honestly believe that?” she asked. “I
have to believe it. It’s a reality.” She shook her head as she continued to load her
trunk. “What?” he asked. “I just never had you down as a quitter,” she said. “I’m
not a quitter, I’m a realist.” “Correct me if I’m wrong, but exactly how long have
you been doing this?” “More years than I care to remember,” he said. “So just
like that you give up on your goal....your dream..... to be the best?” “Take a look
around here,” he said. “There’s a long line of guys in front of me. And they all
have a lot more pull than I do.” “I don’t think it’s pull,” she said. “I think it’s being
willing to speak up for themselves. From what I’ve heard, you’ve always been a
company guy. Would it be so wrong to want something for yourself for a
“I guess I never thought of it like that before,’ he said. His smile was so
warm, it made her melt just to see it. Just when she thought, maybe, they had
turned a corner. The door opened again. “There you are, Glenn. Are you ready
to go?” It was, Jen Philips, a new girl in wardrobe. “Yeah, I guess so,” he said.
“Thanks for the pep talk,” he said. “No problem,” she said, suddenly feeling the
need to be anywhere but there. He sensed the change in her.
“You have plans tonight?” he asked. “No, but I can see that you do. Have
a nice time,” she said, climbing into the driver’s seat. She shut the door quickly.
“This is ridiculous,” she thought. “We ‘re just friends...if that. Who he dates is his
For the next four days, she did whatever she could to keep her mind off of
what she could only imagine, was a very romantic evening for Jen. By the time
Saturday rolled around she was in a pretty foul mood. They were in Chicago for
a house show. She was busy banging the equipment around, taking out her
frustrations, when she heard laughter behind her. “I’m glad you’re not angry with
me.” She turned quickly. “Very funny Al,” she said. “Who or what has got you so
worked up?’ he asked. “Oh it’s nothing. just one of those days,” she said. “Oh no.
Don’t tell me it’s one of those “woman” things.” She had to laugh at him. “Listen,
if you know what’s good for you, you’ll keep your distance.”
He stepped closer, giving her that maniacal Al Snow grin. “Now you know
I just love a challenge. I am going to make it my personal mission today to cheer
you up.” “No, Al, really. That’s fine. you don’t have to do that. I’ll be Ok.” “Too
late,’ he said. “You are officially under an Al Snow watch.’ “Oh where is Mick
Foley when I need him?’ she moaned.
Across the gym, he stood and watched them. He loved it when she
laughed. It was such a free and easy sound. She really seemed to like Al. Heck,
everybody liked Al, even if he was a little weird. He watched as she threw her
head back in laughter, laying a hand on his arm. Tuesday night he had gotten
the impression that maybe she was less than thrilled with the idea of him going
out with someone else. From the looks of things, he couldn’t have been more
He was opening his gym bag when Mark Calloway walked in. Known to
everyone as Taker, over the years he had become Glenn’s mentor and more
importantly, close friend. In 1997, when they had informed Glenn that he would
be working an angle with The Undertaker, he had been thrilled. Everyone who
competed as a wrestler, looked for someone to teach them the finer points of the
business. In Mark, Glenn knew he would be learning from the best. The original
storyline involving Kane was only scheduled to run for a few months at most. But
for some reason, the character had caught on. Glenn always credited Mark with
helping to put Kane “over” with the fans. To this day, he turned to Mark for help
and advice, when things seemed to be going off track.
“Are you ready for the latest?” he asked him. “Now what?” Glenn moaned.
“You’re about to turn heel.” Glenn turned and looked at him. “Are you kidding?
Who’s idea was that?” “Well, I think it was kind of a group decision.” Glenn let
out an exasperated sigh. “Ok, so tell me. Who am I turning on?” Mark scratched
his goatee and lowered his eyes. “Me,” he said finally. Glenn just shook his head.
“Gee, we haven’t done that a hundred times already.” “I know it’s nothing new,
but this time I think they’re really ready to push you as some kind of monster
character. You know an unstoppable force.” Glenn looked at his friend. “Oh
yeah? The last time that happened they had me jobbing to X-Pac. Who is it this
Mark let out a chuckle. “Come on. I think this could be good for you.” “Well
you know what I think? I think it’s just another way to get someone else over.
Well, if that’s what they want..then fine. If they want a monster, then that’s what
they’ll get.” He threw his stuff back into his bag and slammed out the door.
Lisa and Al looked up when they heard him yelling. “Wow, somebody’s
crabby today,” Al said. “Somebody’s crabby everyday,” she mumbled. Al turned
to her in surprise. “So, that’s it. I knew there was something going on between
you two.” “There is nothing going on,” she said resuming her attack on the
equipment. “Oh no? Then why are you so upset? he asked. “I’m not upset, Ok?
Now can we just drop it?” “Sure, no problem,” he said, watching her closely. “But
if you want to know the truth, I think you may be just the kind of person that he
needs right now.” She looked up at him. “Well I’ll never know, since he never
seems to want to talk to me.” “Try treating him like you do that equipment.
Smack him around until he listens to reason.” She shook her head and laughed.
“Al, you are so strange...but this time you may just have something there.”
“I think I’ll go bother Mick for a while,’ he said, strolling off. She looked
over to Mark and he smiled. “Is there anything I can do for you?” she asked.
“Nope, I’m fine,’ he said. “I ....uh....suppose you heard all that?” he said, referring
to Glenn’s less than happy response to his new angle. “I think everyone in the
parking lot heard it,” she said. “You want to know something? he said. “ I kind of
agree with him. This thing between Kane and Taker has been done to death. “
“Mark, can I ask you something?” “Sure, go ahead,” he said, beginning his
stretches. “He’s good isn’t he? I mean, he’s got real talent hasn’t he?” “He’s very
good,” he replied. “But you want to know what his weakness is? He’s too damn
She laughed at his description. “I’m not kidding,” he said. “It’s one thing to
be a company guy.....but sometimes I just want to grab him and shake him and
tell him to speak up for himself.” “I said the same thing to him.” “We have
meetings before every show where we discuss the matches, right? Do you think
he ever disagrees with anybody? No...never.” She shook her head. “I guess it
just isn’t his nature.’ “Well he better do something, or he really will be stuck
The rest of the night went without a hitch. House shows were usually
much more relaxed than the TV tapings and for a change she wasn’t totally
exhausted. She watched as they loaded the last of her equipment on the truck.
She waved to the driver as he drove off. She had just gotten to her car when she
saw him. He was walking slowly, his head down. “That was a nice match
tonight.” she said. “Yeah for a meaningless, get you no where match, it was fine,’
he replied. “Why do I bother?” she mumbled, unlocking her door. “Hey, I’m sorry,’
“No, I’m the one who’s sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry that I can never seem to
say the right thing where you’re concerned. I’m sorry that you’re unhappy about
your career. And I’m sorry that you can’t see that I’m on your side.” She opened
the door, climbed in and slammed it shut. “Wait a minute,” he called. But she
was already gone.
He watched as her tail lights disappeared into the night. “I screwed that
up nicely,’ he thought. But she was right. She was always on his side, and
somehow he always managed to push her away. “She’s never been anything but
nice to you,” he thought. “And all you can ever manage is a rotten attitude.”
Since the day he had met her, he had felt an attraction for her. She was smart
and funny, and maybe one of the prettiest women he had ever seen. But he was
afraid. Afraid that he would open himself up to her, only to have her reject him.
He had been through that more times than he cared to remember. Every woman
he had known had tried to make him choose between his career or them. His
relationship with Jen was different at least. She only seemed interested in
enjoying herself. It wasn’t terribly fulfilling, but there was no risk either.
Still, everytime he saw her, he couldn’t help but wonder what it would be
like.... He shook his head. “Don’t even go there,” he thought. He tossed his
clothes in the back of his car. As he headed for the hotel her image kept flashing
through his mind. “I can’t do this,” he thought. But the more he tried to wipe her
from his mind the more insistent the thoughts of her became.
He unlocked his hotel room door and threw his things on the bed. He
walked to the window and looked out. There was a small courtyard below. He
watched as the shadows danced along the pathway. And then he saw her. She
was walking along slowly, watching the water fountain dance under the lights. He
debated with himself for a second, and then headed out the door.
She was lost in her thoughts so she never heard him approaching. “Hi,”
he said quietly. She turned quickly. “Oh, it’s you. Look I’m really not in the mood
for another argument. I’ve taken enough abuse for one night.” She stood to
leave. “Wait, please,” he said, reaching out to take her hand. “I came out here to
apologize.” “Fine, consider it done,” she said. “Good night.” But he refused to
release her hand. She looked up at him. “Won’t you at least give me a chance to
explain?” he asked. “Explain what?I think you’ve made it pretty clear. You aren’t
really interested in anything I have to say. I’m not stupid you know. If you would
prefer that I don’t talk to you any more just say so.”
He sat on the bench, still clinging to her hand. “Sit down...please,” he
asked quietly. She hesitated for a second, then finally sat next to him. “The last
thing I want is for you to stop talking to me. I know this may be hard to believe,
but everything you say is important to me.” “You could have fooled me,” she
said. “Things aren’t going exactly the way I planned,” he said. “And I guess, I’m
just taking it out on the people around me.” She looked down at their hands.
“Glenn? Why don’t you have any faith in yourself? I think you’re absolutely
wonderful. But unless you start believing in yourself, you’ll never get what you
want.” “You’re starting to sound like Mark,” he said with a laugh. “Yeah well,
great minds think alike,” she said with a smile.
“What do you say we start over?” he asked. “Start over?” He released her
hand and extended his. “I’m Glenn Jacobs. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She
laughed as she shook her head. Slipping her hand into his, she smiled. “I’m Lisa
Ryan. And the pleasure is all mine.” Their eyes locked and she suddenly felt very
warm. She dropped her eyes and slid her hand from his.
“Did you hear about my match for RAW?” he asked. She shook her head.
“Apparently, I’m going to become something of a monster.” “You?” she asked in
surprise. “That’s funny. You don’t strike me as a monster.” He was captivated by
the humor in her eyes. “Well, like it or not, that’s what they have planned for me.
It seems I’m going to chokeslam my brother.” “Mark?’ she said with a laugh.
“Yeah...for like the millionth time.” “You don’t seem too happy about it.” “Well, I
wasn’t at first. But a couple of people have convinced me that this could be a
turning point for me.”
“A couple of people who only want to see you get what you deserve,” she
said quietly. A light breeze blew through the trees and a lock of hair fell across
her eyes. He reached out gently to brush it back. Slowly he trailed his finger
down her cheek. She could feel her heartbeat quicken. Then a thought occurred
to her. “I’m surprised you aren’t out with Jen tonight.” Slowly he dropped his
hand. “She was in the mood for dancing. I’m not exactly what you’d call light on
my feet.” The thought of him on a dance floor made her smile. “She seems like a
nice girl,” she said. “She is nice. A little scatterbrained, but nice.” “Well I hope
you’re both happy together,” she said, as she rose from the bench. “It’s getting
late. I think I’m going to head to bed.”
In just that one second he could feel a change in her attitude. “Lisa?” She
turned as he stood up next to her. “We’re not happy......at least I’m not.” She
looked at him questioningly. “Jen is a wonderful girl. But she’s not the right
person for me.” “She isn’t?’ she asked in a whisper. “No. And right now I think it’s
time I started going after what I really do want.” “What’s that?” she asked. “You,”
he said, as he softly pressed his lips to hers.
Her heart skipped a beat as their lips met. Gently he slid his fingers through her
hair bringing her closer. As she rested her hands on his waist she could feel her
heart pounding. He leaned back and looked into her eyes. “I’m sorry. Maybe I
was just assuming....” She put a finger to his lips. “Don’t be sorry. I’m not.” She
reached up, wrapping her arms around his neck. A low moan came from deep
inside of him as he enclosed her in his massive arms. Using his tongue, he
gently parted her lips, delighting in the sweetness of her mouth. They broke apart
“Oh my God,” she whispered. “Yeah, I know what you mean,” he said. “I
think I need to sit down,” she stammered, reaching for the bench. He picked up
her hand, softly kissing her fingers. “I knew it would feel like that,” he said. She
looked up at him and laughed softly. “I can’t believe it. Al was right. I hate it when
he’s right.” “Why? What did he say?” She shook her head. “He said he knew
there was something going on between us.’ Glenn smiled. “Al is as odd as they
come...but he’s pretty perceptive.”
“I’m gonna be truthful with you,” he said. “I’ve been attracted to you for a
long time. But I guess I was afraid of getting rejected again. I’ve had too many
women who wanted me to give up my career. I think you’re the first one to really
understand what it means to me.” “Glenn, I would never ask you to give this up.
Besides, I happen to love watching you in the ring.” “Oh yeah?” She laughed
softly. “My secret is out. I’m a closet Kane fan.”
“Listen. I know it’s late, but would you like to get some coffee or
something?” “Sure,” she said, taking his outstretched hand. They sat together for
the next two hours talking about their lives, and how they had reached this point.
She was fascinated by his stories about coming up through the ranks. “I had no
idea there were so many wrestling organizations,” she said. “Oh yeah,” he said.
“And I think I’ve been through them all.” “I can’t believe you actually knew Al.”
“Knew him? We were tag team champs together.” “Talk about the odd couple,’
she said with a grin.
“So tell me about you,” he said. “There really isn’t much to tell,” she said.
“I’m basically your small town girl who was lucky enough to land her dream job.”
So you like the WWF?” “Oddly enough, I do,” she laughed. “I have to admit, I
was skeptical at first, but it’s grown on me.” “And the people?” he asked. “Most of
them are wonderful,” she replied. “Anyone in particular?” he asked. “Maybe,” she
said, smiling shyly at him.
God, she was captivating. He wanted to sit and talk to her all night. He
longed to know every thought that she had. “You really should get some sleep
you know,” she said. “There is another house show tomorrow.” “Yeah, I know,”
he said. “And then my big heel turn on RAW.” He walked her back to her room.
“Can I pick you up for breakfast?” he asked. “Absolutely,” she replied, unlocking
her door. When she turned, he leaned down to kiss her. She ran her fingers up
through his hair. He pulled back slowly. “I’ll come by around 9:30, Ok?” “I’ll be
waiting,” she said, closing her door quietly. He took a deep breath and walked
down the hall.