I've never made a secret of my respect and admiration for Karine, building the Averlast franchise as she did and still acting as the glue that holds the place together, but that respect grew by magnitudes when poor health kept her out of last Friday's event, leaving the only authority figures present to be Chak and (gulp!) me.
I arrived a little late, right into the waiting arms of a sim crash during the opening free-for-all match. The boxers and audience were scattered to the wind as the server tanked and Trueblood went bye-bye for a few minutes.
Thankfully, it soon came up again. On with the show.
With Chak handling announcing and judging, and Fionna Bracken on card girl duty (thank God; nobody wants to see me in a bikini, trust me) that left me to handle security and whatever the hell else would come up.
Keeping things running smoothly on a night like that is a team effort, have no doubt. Chak and I kept up a steady line of communication in handling judgement calls, weeding out troublemakers, and diverting newbs who picked the night of our big event to come in job hunting.
The only fight I can actually remember watching was Miansha Beaumont taking on Dwain Aeon. The rest of the in-ring activity is a blur to me.
In the end there was only one banning for the night (note to future visitors: Your giant flexi penis will not be impressive to us; we know you're overcompensating and have other concerns to tend to), any number of verbal warnings, and overall the Republic survived. But for a long stretch it was just one damn thing after another, and I was ready to pull my hair out.
Afterwards, I reflected on Karine, and how she did this exact thing, and more, every single week.
Like I said before, I respect Karine. After walking a mile in her boxing boots, I'm almost in awe of her.