Memory Lane

The HOV hums to life as HOW Friday Night Chaos gets underway, live on Best Studios. The HOW logo flashes across the screen, and as the opening video to the show begins to play the camera pans across the arena. Rabid fans have flocked in from New Jersey and New York City alike, and they’re holding up painstakingly handcrafted signs for the cameras.

#HARDCORPORATE

CHRIS DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

EVAN WENT TO HEAVEN

ATLANTIC CITY BETS ON BLACK

DAT HAIRCUT

#TWEETSFROMHELL

As the camera comes back around, it settles on the Hall of Fame announce team of Joe Hoffman and “Big Buff” Benny Newell, located behind their commentary table as per the usual. Joe is going over last minute production notes, while Benny Newell is actually standing up behind the table. He’s facing the crowd, screaming at a woman behind him to take off her shirt as he chucks dollar bills in her direction.

Joe Hoffman: Hello ladies and gentlemen and WELCOME to the return edition of HOW Friday Night Chaos! Joining me as always is Hall of Famer and independant legend “Big Buff” Benny Newell…

Benny Newell: WHORE! SHOW ME YOUR FUCKING TITS!

Joe Hoffman: ….and I’m Joe Hoffman. Thanks for that, Benny. Tonight it’s the Lethal Lottery, and what better place to roll the dice than The Jesus Complex, in Atlantic City, New Jersey? HOW’s champions will have to be on their guard tonight, as every title is contested and nobody is safe– literally anyone could walk out a champion here tonight, folks.

Benny Newell: I’VE THROWN LIKE EIGHTY DOLLARS AT YOU! GIMME A NIPPLE! BAH, FUCK YOU!

Benny grumbles, slamming down into his seat at commentary as Joe glares daggers into him.

Joe Hoffman: ….tonight is especially dangerous, Benny, because unlike most Lethal Lottery events, no card has been announced! It’s going to be a night full of surprises, so stayed tuned– you’re not going to want to miss a single moment of Friday Night Chaos!

As soon as Joe takes a breath, the break in airtime is overtaken by the Jesus Complex sound system and the heavy guitar riff lead-in to “The Best Around” by Joe Esposito.  After the events of Monday Night Mayhem, even a hometown crowd is booing for World Champion Michael Lee Best as he makes his way out from behind the curtain. Wearing the HOW World Championship around his waist and what appears to be an actual solid gold suit, Mike also appears to have some kind of a sling over his left arm, leaving his forearm and hand hanging limply above his ribcage.

He has a microphone in his right hand.

Joe Hoffman: Tonight’s show is going to start out with a word from world champion Mike Best, folks, and for once I can’t say that I object. After what happened in Monday night’s main event, I think the world– myself included– is eager to hear some kind of an explanation.

Benny Newell: Mike Best and Scottywood. The savior and the Anti-Christ! HA! I swear to God, Hoffman, if you shit all over this I’m going to beat the fuck out of you.

Slowly, the HOW World Champion makes his way down the ramp and toward the stairs. He takes in the roaring boos, hatred louder than he’s heard in quite some time from the HOW faithful. As he ducks under the ropes and climbs into the ring, he paces across the middle of the canvas for a moment, waiting for the crowd to die down.

At a dull roar, he raises the microphone.

Mike Best: Last week, Evan Ward pushed me to the limit.

The crowd cheers voraciously, not for Michael Lee Best but for his admission that Evan Ward gave up a hell of a fight. Mike listens to the cheers, nodding his head and agreement. He jerks at his shoulder a little bit, still looking to be in some pain.

Mike Best: It washis limit, of course, not mine. But a limit was reached nonetheless. And though I have gotten word that Evan Ward at this very moment is lying in a hospital bed with a feeding tube down his throat… that he may never wake up… I regret to inform the High Octane faithful that I too have sustained a serious injury.

The crowd remains relatively docile, as he shakes his head and continues to pace back and forth. He looks legitimately concerned, and after the impact of a brutal main event on Monday night, the fans are curious to see exactly what is wrong with him. He tries to roll his shoulder around, but simply winces in pain.

Mike Best: See, in the final moments of HOW’s Monday Night Mayhem, as the show was going off the air and the dust was settling over most controversial match in recent memory, I reached up and I delivered a high five to the man who assisted me in outsmarting Evan Ward last week. No, not just a high five five– the HIGHEST of fives. It was practically a high SIX. And unfortunately, as the two most dangerous left hands in the history of professional sports collided, I think I– well, I’m sorry to say that I tweaked my pinky finger, just so. So Evan Ward, as you lie in the intensive care unit tonight, barely holding on, just know that I feel for you, brother. I’m right there with you.

The boos immediately pick back up to full strength, but the angry wave of hatred splashing against the ring only seems to increase the intensity of Michael Best’s smile. He grins out at the crowd like it’s his fucking birthday, letting it wash over him like a warm spring rain.

Mike Best: Yes, boooooooo. BOOOOOOO, I SAY! Boo, because Evan Ward let everyone down. He showed his true colors last week. He said I’d have to kill him. That I could pull out any maneuver, that I could use any weapon against him, and that he’d stand back up. That he would KEEP… getting… up. Well I had a secret weapon, ladies and gentlemen, and Evan Ward did NOT get back up. He did NOT keep fighting. He gave up on himself… he gave up on the match… and most importantly, Octantites… he gave up on you.

He shakes his head pitifully, staring at the mat as the boos somehow grow even louder. A voracious chant of “YOU SOLD OUT” begins somewhere in the rafters, but quickly grows until most of the New Jersey arena is embroiled in the chant as well. The champion nods his head, acknowledging it, but it doesn’t seem to bother him too much.

Mike Best: I sold out? Yes. Yes I did. Does that really surprise anyone? See that’s… that’s not really the point here tonight. Booooo, Mike Best is an asshole. Booo, Mike Best sold out. And a bear shits in the woods too, so why don’t we just chant about things that are plain and fucking obvious? Come on, folks! POPE-IS-CATHOLIC! CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP!

Yes, he actually says the word “clap” five times. He doesn’t have much of a choice– with a microphone in one hand and a sling on the other, it’s his only real recourse considering the circumstances. Unsurprisingly, the crowd does not join in on the chant. Instead, they just keep booing. You know, because they’re not particularly creative.

Mike Best: So yes, I sold out. I sold out, and now I’m standing here in the middle of an HOW ring in the majestic Jesus Complex in Atlantic City with the HOW World Championship around his waist.  And forever it will be noted in the annals of High Octane history that I beat Evan Ward by legitimate count in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

From the belly of the arena, a loud “EVAN WARD!” chant breaks out amongst the HOW faithful. The chant grows and grows, until nearly every man, woman, and child in attendance is cheering for the last remaining bastion of good in High Octane Wrestling. Mike smirks inside the ring, shaking his head.

Suddenly, his smirk fades as  “Good Day To Die” by Mishkin begins to blast over the speakers! The fans practically jump the guardrails in excitement, screaming for Evan Ward as his music shuts up one of the most hated men in the company. Inside the ring, Mike Best’s eyes practically bulge out of his fucking head– he backs up into the ropes, looking for an escape route in advance as through the curtain, out bursts…

…acting HOW owner Scott “Scottywood” Woodson.

Michael Best snickers inside the ring, putting away his “scared face” as he signals for the music to be cut. The crowd slowly realizes what’s going on, and the deafening cheers are quickly replaced with a chorus of boos that would make the Mormon Tabernacle back up their shit and get out. Mike cackles in the ring as Scotty stands at the top of the ramp, dramatically waving to the crowd and enjoying their disappointment.

Mike Best: He’s not here, douchebags! Evan Ward is never going to walk again. He’s gonna be eating meals through a tube for the rest of his short, miserable life.  So how about you forget about your precious little hero, and give a warm welcome to a man who deserves your applause? Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. SCOTT…. WOODSON! Give it up, folks!

Scottywood takes a bow.

He’s wearing a well fitting black suit, his now short red hair slicked back as it was at the end of Mayhem four days ago. He’s also holding a microphone, and he smirks as he makes his way down the ramp. Scottywood climbs up the ring steps, where Mike is happy to hold the ropes for him. He ducks into the ring, staring right into the eyes of Michael Lee Best as the two look at eachother for a moment. And then, in the single most heretical act in the history of either man’s career, the two sworn enemies reach out…

….and HUG.

The crowd could not be booing any louder, and they once watched Lee Best spike a baby.

Mike Best: You show some goddamned respect to the acting owner of High Octane Wrestling, you fucking mouth breathers! This man is a Hall of Famer! The greatest HOFC Champion in the history of this company! For God’s SAKE, you idiots, LOOK AT THIS MAN’S HAIR! RESPECT THIS MAN’S HAIRCUT!

Mike looks out at the crowd, who would happily jump into the ring right now and slit his throat, just to show their friends on Facebook. The inside of the arena is, fittingly enough, absolute chaos. Scotty pats Mike on the shoulder, thanking him for the kind words, and they shake hands in the middle of the ring. Mike points at Scottywood, as he continues his diatribe.

Mike Best: This man deserves your adulation. Not some goody two shoes boyscout, prattling on about fair play and sportsmanship. This man standing next to me? He helped me to send a message last Monday. He helped me to let all the boys in the back know that there is no room for heroes in the new High Octane Wrestling. They are not welcome. They are not a part of the new order. And anyone who decides to step forward– anyone in the back right now, feeling like maybe he wants to walk down that ramp and try to follow in Evan Ward’s footsteps? You will end up just like he did.

He looks more than happy to deliver that revelation to the crowd, who seem more uncomfortable at this point than angry. Fans squirm in their seats as they watch HOW potentially beginning to unravel itself in the ring right in front of them.

Michael stands tall next to his new partner.

Mike Best: I am the sword, and Scott Woodson is the crown. The two men standing in this ring make up one hundred percent of the power players in High Octane Wrestling, and I am HUMBLED in his presence. I am HUMBLED, because this man was intelligent enough to realize how badly HOW needed Mike Best. He was intelligent enough to realize that he needed me under contract, and to do everything I asked of him to make sure that the HOW World Championship stayed within this company. Ladies and gentlemen this man humbles me in his presence, and I’d like to give him an opportunity right now to get this show properly underway. Folks please, one more time, let’s here it for the acting owner of HOW, SCOTTYWOOOOOOD!

Smiling at Mike, Scotty thanks him for the warm introduction as he then turns to the Atlantic City crowd which is continuing to boo the duo.

Scott Woodson: Shut the fu… I mean… please control yourselves.  You are currently being graced with the presence of both the six time HOW World Champion AND a Hall of Famer who is soon to be the complete owner of HOW.

Of course, Scotty’s request goes unfilled as the fans continue to boo and Scotty just shakes his head.

Scott Woodson: Well then I’ll just keep this short and sweet for you fuckers.  Due to Mike Best’s very serious, not at all exaggerated  injury after his grueling World title match against Evan Ward… I have made an executive decision. The World Title match for tonight’s Lethal Lottery… is cancelled.

More boos rain down on the duo as Scotty goes to huck his beer bottle at them… but then realizes it is not there.

Scott Woodson: Really?  You’re gonna boo that?  You’re gonna boo that, when you people have never in your lives worked as hard as Mike Best worked on the past two HOW shows.  He deserves tonight off… a night to recover from a match that left Evan Ward in a medically induced coma.

Joe Hoffman: Oh ya, must have been real tough on Mike Best.

Benny Newell: What did I say Joe?  Fucks beaten outta you!

Scott Woodson: NOW… with business taken care of… let’s get this Lottery underway with… well you fuckers will just have to stay tuned and find out.

“Drink, Drank, Drunk” by Hellyeah hits as Scottywood raises Mike’s hand… taking extra care to avoid his injuried pink and raises it up in the air as we cut to a commercial break.

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